For example, let's say I'm a physicist, so I'm not stupid. But, I'm talking to someone who is an accountant and they insult me for not knowing accounting jargon or how to do things involved in their field during a conversation.

  • Does the accountant know that you're a physicist?
    – BoldBen
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 22:22
  • 1
    This is not specific to your description, but a cheap shot is an insult that is unfair or takes advantage of someone's weakness. Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 22:33

5 Answers 5


They are being presumptuous and condescending. You might call them pompous



From Merriam-Webster:

an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions

Clearly the guy is talking down to you, acting superiorly. Often this comes from a feeling of inferiority.


It’s a gratuitous insult:

  1. Unnecessary or unwarranted; unjustified: gratuitous criticism.

From AHD https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=gratuitous


A relevant concept is the curse of knowledge.

According to the Wikipedia article,

The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, communicating with other individuals, unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand.

Of course, the individual in question takes it a step further and insults you for not knowing the concepts he assumes you do. So, calling it a cognitive bias instead of toxic arrogance might be a bit too kind.


9 people out of 10 will say a—hole. There isn’t a single separate word for this form of a—holiness, or every other form thereof, because their number is infinite.

  • 3
    That's certainly an implication of what this guy did, but it is not the most apt description for the given circumstances. There are many ways to be an asshole and the OP is only one.
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 1:10

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