Is there an idiom for a person who is in the habit of giving advice or suggestions on matters he or she knows nothing about? I know there is this word ultracrepidarian for such people but I'm looking for an idiom.A phrase would do too.

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    When asking a question you're supposed to be a bit more specific about what context you're going to use the word in and what exactly you're referring to. There are various terms for educated people who exceed their areas of expertise, but different terms for idiots who know nothing but think they know everything, or for those who like to contribute to every conversation without necessarily professing expertise. Are you looking for an adjectival phrase, a noun phrase, an address to such people ("cobbler, stick to your last" is allegedly something people say), or what?
    – Stuart F
    Jan 7, 2021 at 11:37
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    Searching for ultracrepidarian on this site will lead one to several pages where arguable synonyms for this word may be found. (The question itself is not a duplicate in the strict sense, but it is a duplicate in a broad sense, in so far as likely answers to it will repeat what can be found on these other pages.)
    – jsw29
    Jan 8, 2021 at 0:42
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    Related and possible duplicate.
    – tchrist
    Jan 8, 2021 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


I make three suggestions (meddler and the more idiomatic backseat driver and busybody) but in confirming them have found others I did not know previously:

meddler - an officious annoying person who interferes with others an unwelcome person, persona non grata - a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcome

backseat driver - a meddler who insists on giving unwanted advice

busybody, nosey-parker, nosy-parker, quidnunc - a person who meddles in the affairs of others

buttinsky - a meddler who tends to butt in

kibitzer - (Yiddish) a meddler who offers unwanted advice to others

Free Dictionary

Other dictionaries are consistent with this conveniently compact group of descriptions.

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    I know plenty of "armchair experts". Jan 7, 2021 at 11:34
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    @MichaelHarvey a good addition to the list!
    – Anton
    Jan 7, 2021 at 11:40

A term denoting such a person, that (unlike ultracrepidarian) would be readily understood by most English speakers, is know-it-all. In British English, its variant know-all is also available. The term is inherently ironic: it means that the person does not, in fact, know very much, let alone 'all', but merely behaves as if he does.

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    This is posted as a wiki-answer because it is a copy of what appears in an answer that I have posted to a differently formulated, but closely related question.
    – jsw29
    Jan 7, 2021 at 23:25

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