23

I've been looking for this word for so long, maybe years. In Bulgarian we use the word нахален (nakhalen) or нагъл (nagŭl) very often to describe someone who is asking for too much, disregarding people's feelings or objective facts.

For instance, you would use it in the following situations:

  1. Your senile grandma can barely walk, but you ask her to carry your groceries home.
  2. You tell your friend to give you a ride home without asking them if they have any other plans.
  3. When negotiating a salary, you ask for a very high figure for the specific job (e.g. $100,000 for working at KFC).
  4. You cut in line, or you don't wait for your turn in general.

Google Translate offers the following translations, but I haven't heard people use them a lot, so I'm not sure which one is suitable for everyday speech:

insolent, impudent, impertinent, glib, sassy, perky

16 Answers 16

52

Entitled (adj): feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are:

Example: These kids are spoiled, entitled, self-absorbed, and apathetic.

Cambridge English dictionary


An example use at Times.com

May 20, 2013 · I am about to do what old people have done throughout history: call those younger than me lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow. But I have studies! I ...

| improve this answer | |
14

How about chutzpah. From Cambridge:

chutzpah: behavior that is extremely confident and often rude, with no respect for the opinions or abilities of anyone else

The situations you describe in your question are all good examples of chutzpah.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    This fits the "shamelessly bold" idea which the OP mentions in comments. – Weather Vane May 10 at 16:50
  • 1
    Note that the "ch" in "chutzpah" is pronounced like the Bulgarian "х" in OP's question, or like the German "ch", NOT pronounced as in "chair". – OldBunny2800 May 10 at 23:55
  • 4
    Chutzpah is a noun (the behavior), not an adjective. I often hear it in phrases like "You have to have a lot of chutzpah to do such and such". – trentcl May 11 at 11:39
  • 4
    The corresponding adjective is "chutzpedik." – Phil Freedenberg May 11 at 13:12
  • 11
    Good answer, but I'll note that in contemporary usage, chutzpah's connotation isn't always purely negative (although it traditionally was in its original Yiddish). Nowadays, it can refer to a good kind of boldness or audaciousness, like that of an intrepid explorer or someone who stands up to a bully. – Nuclear Hoagie May 11 at 15:27
11

I like "brazen" but "inconsiderate" or "entitled" might also fit. Some people act as if they are "entitled" to every desire that crosses their minds.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    "Brazen" works, although it can have positive connotations, depending on the context. Of course, that may be acceptable if the OP wants a word that covers the kinds of situations described in the second paragraph of Max's answer. OTOH, "brazen" doesn't really incorporate the notion of "asking for too much". – PM 2Ring May 11 at 9:22
9

Someone who is exploitative would behave in the way those four situations describe.
Lexico has

exploitative
ADJECTIVE

Making use of a situation or treating others unfairly in order to gain an advantage or benefit.

The details suggested a mean streak, an exploitive nature, a sloppy greediness, none of which seemed especially pleasant, let alone presidential.

The yogi forsakes stealing, lying, cheating, killing, and other exploitative and self-gratifying behaviours.

| improve this answer | |
9

demanding also fits examples 1-3 very well.

| improve this answer | |
8

As a fellow Bulgarian I can say insolent is the closets to нагъл in meaning. It is really common in my opinion in books at least. As for нахален, something like cheeky should do the trick, as it is used less for describing arrogance, more for annoyance.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    True, I guess entitled, presumptuous and brazen are also very close. – Boyan Kushlev May 11 at 15:34
  • 1
    Fellow Romanian agrees with "insolent" – Dan Dascalescu May 12 at 7:01
  • @BoyanKushlev True enough – Martin Dimitrov May 12 at 9:04
  • 1
    I have to second insolent solely by the number of times Phineas Nigellus and Severus Snape called Harry insolent in all his years. – Siddhartha May 13 at 19:16
6

I am a native Russian speaker, and in Russian we have the same two words (нахальный, наглый). There are also slang words in my language that carry the same meaning (e.g. борзой). Usually, when someone is acting "нагло", I'd call them out for being rude, entitled, inconsiderate, or mannerless. I reckon insolent is also an option, but I doubt anyone who doesn't happen to have looked up some of the terms that I have suggested in the thesaurus will even know what this word means. So my suggestion would be to go with one of these four terms.

I must note, however, that, at least in Russian, the word "наглый" can also be applied to situations where something "shamelessly/fearlessly bold" was said or done and often has a rather positive connotation. For example, we might use the word when a footballer scores an outrageous goal, when an inexperienced chess player starts sacrificing pieces against a grandmaster, or when a student proves his teacher wrong in front of the class. In this case, the best translations would certainly be audacious and cheeky.

| improve this answer | |
  • Interesting... I don't think we'd use it with a positive connotation ever, but that would definitely be described as cheeky in English. – Boyan Kushlev May 11 at 15:36
  • The positive connotation is rare in both Russian and Bulgarian, but pretty much present. – fraxinus May 12 at 8:01
4

What you're describing is someone who considers their own needs so important that any other person's needs do not even come into question. To me, that's 'arrogance' (arrogant, arrogantly).

| improve this answer | |
3

I'd say: "That's a selfish bastard." (Just "selfish" is not strong enough.) Tom Newton Dunn tweeted in September 2018 that Boris Johnson was called exactly this by his daughter Lara.

| improve this answer | |
3

As a monolingual native English (from England) speaker, I wouldn't say one word fits the 4 descriptions. Below is how I would describe a person for the various situations:

Your senile grandma can barely walk, but you ask her to carry your groceries home: selfish, or in reference to childish behaviour: a brat (what a spoilt brat!), bratish behaviour.

You tell your friend to give you a ride home without asking them if they have any other plans: selfish, demanding.

When negotiating a salary, you ask for a very high figure for the specific job (e.g. $100,000 for working at KFC): "chutzpah/bold" - if appreciative, "brazen" - if cheeky, "deluded" - is vastly misunderstanding the world or the situation.

You cut in line, or you don't wait for your turn in general: entitled, arrogant, self-centred. Entitled and self-centred denote more their internal mental state or beliefs. Arrogant (also haughty) denote to me their external observable behaviour.

| improve this answer | |
  • Hello Paul, and welcome! – Conrado May 11 at 16:54
3

The words that comes into my mind that fits Scenario 1,2 and 4 are:

1. Inconsiderate (adj)

Not thinking or worrying about other people or their feelings

2. Tactless (adj)

Someone who is tactless is not careful about the way that they speak or behave toward other people and so often upsets them

Meanwhile, for Scenario 3, I would go for

Presumptuous (adj)

Showing too much confidence and not enough respect

| improve this answer | |
2

Someone who continually caters to their own needs and doesn't even have how their behavior and demand affect others on their radar is egotistical and narcissistic.

| improve this answer | |
1

I suggest imperious, bumptious and overbearing.

Imperious (adj): unpleasantly proud and expecting to be obeyed.

Examples:

  • An imperious manner/voice
  • She sent them away with an imperious wave of the hand.

Cambridge English dictionary


Bumptious (adj): unpleasantly confident.

Example: A bumptious young man

Cambridge English dictionary


Overbearing (adj): too confident and too determined to tell other people what to do, in a way that is unpleasant.

Example: Milligan had a pompous, overbearing father.

Cambridge English dictionary

Or domineering

| improve this answer | |
0

I recently did a reading of The Great Gatsby with a book club and I'll say that supercilious would be a good adjective here. Not the act of asking but the kind of person doing the asking. The request would be more or less perfunctory in that he's not requesting but telling you what you will do but phrasing it as a request.

| improve this answer | |
0

Tacky

While you use "arrogant" in the title, your question implies the Bulgarian word is more on the apathetic side. Tacky typically does not fall into the arrogant category. The four scenarios you describe could all be described as "tacky". Cambridge has this definition (emphasis mine)

of cheap quality or in bad style

It's not necessarily arrogant, but it is apathetic to the plight of the people around the subject. Put another way, the person has no shame about doing something that will socially irritate others.

Weird Al Yankovic has a perfect illustration if you need one

| improve this answer | |
0

Such a person thinks he has the impunity for making his demand: He is imputinous. He may even know his demand is an imposition, but he is just impositional. Of course the spell check has come and marked those two words with a red underline. Sure. English evolves and these two words used in context could be understandable. Mind you, I bin barred (binned) from asking questions here and this may not go through either. Admins are acting imputationally, especially when they see a foreign name.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.