Someone who doesn't have any appreciation for the past and clings to modernity, or to the current, the way a bigot clings to the outdated. Trendites or hipsters wouldn't quite cut it any more than nostalgic would cover bigotry. It lacks the irrationality and the negative connotations.

Per request, here's a sample:

"Speaking of Abraham Lincoln, do you know what his greatest achievement was?" "Abraham Lincoln? Didn't he die like 5000 years ago? How old do you think I am?" "How is the time he lived in relevant, dude? There's much to learn from the man." "I concern myself with what's happening now." "Present concerns are rarely as profound as the wisdom of the past. You're such a ______."

Hopefully that somewhat cuts it. Reverse the positions to something like a person talking about how gay people should be stoned or a different horrible, outdated thing, and the other responding by calling him a bigot, and you might have an even clearer picture of the word I'm looking for.

  • You want a term for someone who hates/ignores old things rather than a term like neophiliac meaning someone who loves the new? Or a term encompassing both attitudes?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 19:53
  • 1
    A term that encompasses both things. I suppose the main thing is an obstinant adherence to the new, paired with hollow disdain for the old. It's essentially every self-absorbed teenager. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 0:53
  • 1
    You’re so shallow! I’m not adding as an answer as this phrase is so broad - covering more than lack of interest in the past.
    – k1eran
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 16:24
  • Well this type of person is definitely shallow... I'm starting to feel like opaque terms like "teenage" fits best here. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 21:41
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it is not expressed on objective neutral terms, but is suffused with the attitude and opinions of the poster. I don’t think questions expressed in this way are suitable for a list the interest of which is linguistic description of things, not judging them.
    – David
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 19:13

4 Answers 4


How about Slave to the zeitgeist

  • Slave certainly carries the umph I'm looking for, especially in relation to the zeitgeist... but it's a phrase. I want a single word, and something even more descriptive. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 0:57
  • 3
    Good luck finding a single word which encapsulates all that. Why does it have to be a single word?
    – Nemo
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 8:15
  • I'm a neologist of sorts. I like to find things we haven't boiled down to one word yet, and fill that gap if needed. If this word doesn't exist, I'll make it. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 10:19

G.K. Chesterton calls this "the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about."

More parsimoniously, though a bit "on the nose" -- and admitting you'd want to reconfigure your example sentence -- we have presentist.

Many people lost their perspective in their euphoria and became parochial and presentist. In their presentism, they forgot that long distance ties had been flourishing for generations, using automobiles, telephones, airplanes, and even postal (snail) mail.

  • Barry Wellman, Bernie Hogan, “The Immanent Internet”, in Johnston McKay, editor, Netting Citizens: Exploring Citizenship in a Digital Age, Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press, pages 54–80:

You could get by with ultramodernist. Used in the right context, it will get the meaning you are looking for. Ultramodernist is an older term than I thought it would be, and you will also find it written as ultra modernist. It means:

One who strongly believes in current views, who is extremely modern in ideas or style. (Wiktionary)

Extremely modern in ideas or style; completely up-to-date. (FreeDict)

But I wouldn't get stuck on one word. I would happily express this notion saying:

You are such a fanatic modernist!


What about iconoclast? An iconoclast is "a person who criticizes popular beliefs or established customs and ideas", which is excerpted from Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

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