What words or phrases can I use?

I think "unpredictable" kinda works, but it's not accurate.

I'm not asking for derogatory terms; it's more like someone who is simple-minded and thinks for himself naturally, and doesn't notice that his thoughts jump around too quickly.

  • 1
    Racing? Scattered? Too smart for her own good? Brainiac? Absent-minded professor? Genius but not house-trained? Feb 2 at 20:46
  • Thanks, but I don't think that is what I want, these words are kinda derogatory🤔 @YosefBaskin
    – LY Lee
    Feb 2 at 21:15
  • "Flighty" comes to mind. Also, "airy" or "free-spirited."
    – RobJarvis
    Feb 2 at 22:20
  • Well, there's "scatter-brained", but it's somewhat pejorative, and may not exactly capture your desired meaning.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2 at 22:31
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    You have not described a simple person, but a brain without social skills. Feb 2 at 22:40

How about “muddled”, “slack” or “distracted”? All indicate a lack of focus but not a lack of intelligence or purpose.



Here’s a dictionary definition: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/opaque

The key thing with this dictionary entry is to look at the synonyms. Of these, opaque seems to me like the least perjorative.


This person has thoughts in constant mercurial flux.

Mercurial has several meanings, of which the most relevant is this one (from the OED):

  1. Of a person: having a lively, volatile, or restless nature; liable to sudden and unpredictable changes of mind or mood; quick-witted, imaginative. Later also gen. (applied to animals, phenomena, etc.,): changeable, unpredictable, fickle.

Examples of usage:

Spring and All and his improvisational writing, “The Descent of Winter” captured the mercurial flux of his thought in scattershot bursts of prose and controlled late imagist poetry in a carefully structured textual schema. (source)

This is another interest he shares with Beat writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg , and with avant - garde filmmakers like Stan Brakhage and Paul Sharits , who also strive to conquer time's tyranny in works characterized by mercurial flux and flow. (source)

Nietzsche's nominalistic anti-foundationalism was at least in part derived from his belief in a fundamental schism between language and the world, between the mercurial flux of reality and any particular conceptual system. (source)

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