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I am looking for an idiom which can be used in the following scenarios:

  • To refer to a person who is involved in a discussion that does not concern him/her
  • To refer to a person who goes somewhere they are not supposed to be

Example sentences:

— Who was that guy on the scientific panel?
— No idea, he looked like a ______. I’m pretty sure he’s not even a scientist.

So that guy just went into her house along with everyone else like a _______.

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  • I wouldn't use the same terms in both situations. For the first, see What word describes someone who offers unsolicited advice?
    – Laurel
    Apr 17, 2022 at 13:36
  • @Laurel I see, but what I was after something different; I have edited the question.
    – hb20007
    Apr 17, 2022 at 13:45
  • A person who attends a social function to which they have not been invited can be called a gate-crasher. Apr 17, 2022 at 13:48
  • Informally a buttinski or buttinsky
    – Jim
    Apr 17, 2022 at 14:25
  • busybody or nosy parker only ones I could find, sure does seem there should be more idioms for that.
    – user22542
    Apr 17, 2022 at 16:07

4 Answers 4

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Not sure about your first criterion, but about the second one, I think interloper would be a good fit, even though it is not necessarily an idiom.

One who intrudes in a place, situation, or activity

By the way, to lope is to run or ride with a steady, easy gait. The word interloper is therefore kind of idiomatic. An interloper in the discussion that does not concern him or her is just loping along as if there's nothing wrong, pretending they belong in the discussion, despite their presence being neither needed nor appreciated.

Word History: The word interloper has its origin in the time when England was embarking on the course that would lead to the British Empire. Interloper is first recorded in the late 1500s in connection with the Muscovy Company, the earliest major English trading company (chartered in 1555). The word was soon being used in connection with independent traders competing with the East India Company (chartered in 1600). The East India Company was established as a monopoly, and independent traders, called interlopers, were not welcome. The term is probably partly derived from Dutch, the language of one of the great trade rivals of the English at that time. The inter- is simply the prefix inter-, which English has borrowed from Latin, meaning "between, among." The element -loper is probably related to the same element in the word landloper, "vagabond," a word adopted from Dutch landloper: land, plus -loper, from lopen, "to run, leap." The word interloper came to be used by the 1630s in the extended sense of a "meddler, a person who intrudes in others' affairs."(Minor modifications in this entry are mine.)

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I finally found something which fits, especially in the first sentence.

The idiom is a square peg in a round hole. According to Merriam-Webster, it means

someone who does not fit in a particular place or situation.

The example given is as follows.

She felt like a square peg in a round hole at the new school until she made some new friends.

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  • But neither does this totally answer your question. It doesn't work for 'a person who is [gets] involved in a discussion that does not concern him/her'. And the idiom 'a square peg in a round hole' has been given many times before on ELU. Apr 18, 2022 at 16:01
  • @EdwinAshworth It's the closest one.
    – hb20007
    Apr 18, 2022 at 17:12
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nosey parker

or

busybody

A nosy parker is someone who doesn't mind their own business. They will poke their noses into other people's affairs, and attempt to eke out whatever information they can, the more personal the better. A busybody is a near equivalent, and perhaps more familiar term to American speakers. https://itectec.com/englishusage/learn-english-the-inquisitive-tale-of-nosey-parker/

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I don't believe that both of these examples would fit a single word or idiom. While similar, they're different in nature.

A poser is someone who pretends to be something they're not, generally to gain favor. It certainly matches your first example.

The second example is more nuanced. For this I would suggest the above mentioned interloper. If you're looking for something more poetic, you could use the notion of a Trojan horse.

Metaphorically, a "Trojan horse" has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place

Or even less subtly, "He went into her house as if he belonged.

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  • Not mentioning any games here, but "imposter" would be a good answer.
    – user22542
    Apr 18, 2022 at 11:47

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