I'm looking for an idiomatic way to describe a situation where someone is overconfident, e.g. they believe they have good knowledge of something but actually they don't.

Background: I am looking for a catchy paper title. The main finding of the paper is that the majority of users of a certain technology characterise themselves as very knowledgeable about it but show very little understanding of it in reality.


3 Answers 3


You could say these people, despite their claims of know-how, are clearly out of (their) depth.

out of one's depth

[The Free Dictionary]


The person might be a fanboy, i.e. someone who extolls the virtue of a particular technology on the basis of its origin, but does not know much about how it objectively compares with its alternatives, or about how it actually works.



talking out of their ass

-online Slang Dictionary

...is quite pithy, and catchy.

Ex. So many people claim they are expert in this area, but most of them are talking out of their ass

That could be a title.

Apart from that, this is a Dunning-Kruger effect and a cognitive bias. So...

Dunning-Kruger Effect in "XYZ area"

...sounds more academic

  • The OP has been here for almost a week, and nobody has VTCed it. So I answered. Jun 8, 2022 at 16:50

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