I've found this Q&A for powerful people

Most of the terms were a bit absolute in their power (godlike, big-brother, etc.)

What I'm looking for is a word that could be used to describe anyone from a head of household, to a loud voice on a committee, or a creator whose project has outgrown them but they won't let go.

The concept is that they are an authority and they refuse to let things change.

Imagine a very old person who sits on a board, has completely lost touch of time, and keeps trying to make things stay the same.

Is there any single word/term for this?

My friend suggested "justice scalia" as a nickname for this type of person. I'm hoping for something less colloquial.

Example sentence:

Old Taylor, the head of the HOA, is ridiculous for not letting kids skateboard on the sidewalks. I've tried my best to go to the meetings and talk some sense into them, and even as everyone I know agrees that kids skateboarding on sidewalks is fine, old Taylor refuses to budge. It's too bad they've become such a [WORD FOR STICK IN THE MUD OBSTACLE ON PROGRESS].

  • Are you looking for an actual word that reflects this meaning or a word you can use to convey this meaning? Because 'Dinosaur" is commonly used to describe someone in that position who refuses to adapt and as such become obsolete.
    – RustyUK
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 4:46
  • 1
    Fuddy-duddy is obviously related, but informal. Actually, obstacle to progress is a widely-used term, but is obviously a hypernym – conditions as well as persons can conspire against progress. A person is hidebound. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 14:05

3 Answers 3


As RsutyUK points out, Dinosaur would be fitting here, in the sense of being someone out-of-touch with modern practices and especially technology. It's certainly commonly used in business for directors (or even key people in politics) who get in the way of progress because of their antiquated ideas.

an old-fashioned person or thing that people no longer consider to be useful


  • 1
    ~~ thief ! i demand credit reference.
    – RustyUK
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 6:45
  • Sorry @RustyUK, I hadn't spotted your comment. Happy to give you credit for first mentioning it, though. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 6:46
  • Totally joking buddy :P
    – RustyUK
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 7:05


  1. slang. Someone whose views are outdated or old-fashioned.

Please tell me you're not one of those fossils who expects women to get married as soon as they graduate college.

Source: https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/fossil


The British slang word jobsworth might fit: According to Lexico.com, “An official who upholds petty rules even at the expense of humanity or common sense,” from “it's more than my job's worth” to do what you want.

  • This is a really good one. It seems to be one adjective away from describing the type of person perfectly.
    – Seph Reed
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 20:17

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