Say, there's this person who is currently in disagreement with your decision. They know how to get under your skin, so they repeatedly did it on purpose in hopes eventually you'll give in and do what they wanted. I'm looking for a word that might fit this description, along with the confirmation whether this is considered a toxic behaviour or not. Apologize for that, I had thought it might be a little out of scope. I wanted to look it up myself, but it's tough without a phrase to go with.

To add a little bit more context: they pester you by bringing up the topic every time they meet you in person or singing loudly nearby in order to to break your concentration when working, because they know you can't stand being in a constant presence of someone so noisy, and you give in to their demands only so they will shut up about it.

I intend to use this word in a character analysis, so this is a completely fictional situation.

Conclusion: There seem to be no exact word for this in English, so I will be satisfied with persistent, and manipulative if I feel like taking it up a notch. Thank you for everyone's input, I appreciate every word and phrase suggestions. Pardon me if, by any chance, I come off as obstinate and for not noticing there might be two characteristics in the above description.

  • 2
    I think that evaluating "whether this is considered a toxic behaviour or not" is probably outside of the scope of this site. Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 10:23
  • How the heck does a closed question which does not even include "nag" as one of the answers qualify as a duplicate? Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 18:20

3 Answers 3


Such a person could be called Importunate.

troublesomely urgent :

Overly persistent in request or demand importunate creditors.

Indeed, such a person you would hardly want to put up with, but I doubt if there is a "toxic ring" to the word.

Or, you could call this person a manipulator— This one seems more in line with annoying you on purpose to have their purpose served. This one does infact usually apply to toxic people.

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    I would beware of using "importunate" - it is a "$10 word" = it is very high register and formal; it is also old-fashioned.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 10:32
  • Didn't know that. Thanks for enlightening me about the nuances of its meaning, @Greybeard.I have provided another word that might be a better alternative.
    – user405662
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 10:36

While more of a slang word, nagging seems almost exactly what you want.

(of a person) constantly harassing someone to do something.


For once, thanks to the discussion above, I think I can say that no such word exists in the English language. If I were looking into it further, I should be scouring English literature for a character who behaves as you describe. Often the name of the character becomes a word for the quality. For example, we speak of a Scrooge to refer to a mean and grudging person.

But here, you are describing two unrelated characteristics. You person is obstinate and refuses to accept a reasonable answer; and, in your description, deaf. And they are a nuisance, a pest with a senseless sense of humour. Unless, of course, the obstinacy in repeatedly offering the same (wrong) answer lies with you.


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