Can anyone think of a word/phrase/idiom/expression or anything else I am missing that describes when someone is attempting to lecture, convince, or try to change your mind on something that you know far more about than they do. Often I find it comes from well intentioned that just do not know any better. Sometimes it can be quite frustrating and I am trying to find a phrase that I can use to convey this in my own thoughts, or to others.

For some context I have 20 years of experience in the Oil industry as a Petroleum Engineer. Lots of times people will try and lecture me about things that they think they know about, or just read about in some news article but are hugely misinformed on. I find lots of articles on the internet on some technology related website that is trying to stir the pot on something that has been around for 20 years, people read them show them to me, and try and push about them to me.

The most recent example I can think of was my neighbor trying to tell me about using nuclear steam generation in heavy oil sands development to replace other methods of production. Which without getting technical is not a new idea and is not a very good idea for lots of reasons. I tell them this, and they argue/debate whatever you want to call it about why I am wrong.

Another common example is when people say something like 'artificial intelligence will leave all oil workers out of a job, plants will be fully automated' and so on. I usually say this idea has been around for over 50 years and is sold by a company trying to hype a product that is not very good. To which they double down and try harder to convince me.

Thank you in advance!

  • 2
    I’d call it pointless.
    – Jim
    Mar 9, 2020 at 1:54
  • 1
    @Jim Also frustrating, arguing from ignorance, etc. However, this question feels ranty to me. I'm also not sure if the OP wants a word to describe the person or the debate. It does seem that they want a word/phrase they can use to complain about the other person. The question should be trimmed to just the description without any examples (delete everything after the first paragraph). An example sentence should be provided with a blank where the word should go.
    – CJ Dennis
    Mar 9, 2020 at 3:28
  • 1
    I'd call it any internet argument ever.
    – Robusto
    Mar 9, 2020 at 3:55
  • This sounds like mansplaining! theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/11/… Mar 9, 2020 at 12:54
  • Mansplaining is usually from a man to a woman,
    – Centaurus
    Mar 9, 2020 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


Perhaps this old saying describes the situation.

  • They are trying to teach their grandmother to suck eggs.

Teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

to give advice to someone about a subject that they already know more about than you. Cambridge Dictionary

There's a difference between mansplaining, mentioned in one of the comments, and the above saying.

  • Mansplaining is, at its core, a very specific thing. It's what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he's talking to does.

  • Wikipedia describes mansplaining (a blend word of man and the informal form splaining of the gerund explaining) as a pejorative term meaning "(of a man) to comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner".


One rather confrontational way of putting it may be "I prefer not to debate with idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

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