I think the title pretty much sums up my question.

Self-description might be an option, but I think I'm looking for something wider in meaning.
(And it would be nice if we could skip the 'self' and the hyphen.)

Boasting and related synonyms have in most cases clearly negative connotations. Plus, it's not factual.

So, any ideas?

Possible context: I'm afraid that some ******* is needed to answer your question
(which could imply anything from telling you the story of my life, to getting into details about my habits and how come I got them, or perhaps a rational legitimation of my ethics, or aesthetics, or whatever...)

In either of these cases, it would mean talking about (some aspect of) oneself,
most likely at length, and to the best of the speaker's abilities, factually.

  • Is it autobiography? Nov 2, 2022 at 20:39
  • I'm afraid that some explanation is needed to answer your question. Or perhaps background given the open-ended brief. Nov 2, 2022 at 20:49
  • In the active voice to boot: I'm afraid I must offer some context to answer your question. Nov 3, 2022 at 2:27
  • @TinfoilHat Sticking to the original syntax, and affording some leniency as to skipping the 'self' and the hyphen, perhaps self-contextualization is an option worth considering (?)
    – m.a.a.
    Nov 3, 2022 at 8:38
  • Biographize means to write/create a biography, so autobiographize would be a possible coinage. (I don't see it in dictionaries, so probably don't use it in very formal contexts.)
    – Stuart F
    Nov 3, 2022 at 9:55

2 Answers 2


I couldn't find anything reasonable without self-. But you might find the term self-disclosure satisfying:

Self-disclosure is a process of communication by which one person reveals information about themselves to another. (Wikipedia)

It's a term often used in psychology and on sites about communication skills.

MindTools explains that

Self-disclosure is the process of passing on information about yourself to someone else – whether you intend to or not! The details can range from the superficial, such as your favorite food or TV show, to deeply personal information, such as religious beliefs, and big turning points in your private life.

So your sentence would be:

I'm afraid that some self-disclosure is needed to answer your question.


Exposition or to expound sound like good candidates for your example.

From Oxford Languages:

Exposition- A comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory.

Expound- Present and explain (a theory or idea) systematically and in detail.

Also related is narrative exposition, which sounds close to the the biographical context you're going for (Wikipedia)

The insertion of background information within a story or narrative. This information can be about the setting, characters' backstories, prior plot events, historical context

"I'm afraid that some exposition is needed to answer your question."

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