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I'm looking for a single word meaning "clique member." Since "clique" is pejorative, this term or inflection would be pejorative as well, likely used by outsiders though not necessarily.

I've checked Wiktionary for clique. My best attempts:

  • Clique Member - I find it dry and cumbersome, though "member" is reliable for this type of inflection.
  • Cliquemate - This is pretty good.
  • Cliquey - It's adjective but I might use as nonstandard noun, with -ys as the plural. It sounds right to me, regardless of existence of adjective. Has anyone heard this usage as countable noun? When adjectives are used as noun ("the elderly") I believe those are uncountable nouns. I never hear "the elderlys (-ies)". Britannica says adjective as noun is preceded with "the". There's words that double as adjective and countable noun but I consider that a special case, eg "savage(s)".
  • Cliquer - Clique is verb, eg "clique up". One who cliques. I can't find this -er usage in web search.
  • Cliquey ___ [element, person] - This is my second favorite solution after Cliquey (as noun).

My example sentence is

This place is overrun by ____ [cliqueys]!

I'm in USA but I don't mind British-oriented answers.

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  • Does it have to have the word 'clique' in it? Or can it just mean the same thing? And who'd be saying it? Is it the member describing themself? Is it somebody else saying, "Oh, [x] is a _______"? Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:15
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    insiders, in-crowd, inner circle. Or just elitists, for many types of clique. Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:19
  • Why not use "cliquemate"?
    – alphabet
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:23
  • I meant to put "word or expression for clique member". (It's ok how it is.) It should use the word "clique" (including inflections) since there's unique connotation. I'm picturing a pejorative term used by outsider since "clique" is pejorative. "In-crowd" and "inner circle" are synonyms for clique, not members there of. I want countable noun; I feel the question conveys that so I'll leave as is.
    – Dor1000
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:43
  • An easy work-around could be "This place is cliquey!" Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:55

1 Answer 1

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Clique seems to have inherited its negative connotation through the exclusion of others.

a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons

M-W

One synonym is ostraciser:

one that ostracizes

M-W

which is one who

... exclude[s] from a group by common consent

M-W

Although not a common word, nor the best reference, ngram shows consistent usage.

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    You can be ostracized by being excommunicated from a religion, but I don't think anyone would consider the religion to be a clique.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 21:49
  • Why does one preclude the other? One can drive a truck. "One can drive a car, but I don't think anyone would consider the car to be a truck." Sure. Anyway, one can drive a car.
    – jimm101
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 20:03
  • "What do you call a person who drives a truck?" If you answer "driver", it's technically true, but not specific to trucks so not a helpful answer.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 20:07
  • @Barmar Question is still open if you feel there is something more precise to contribute. If there isn't something more appropriate than "driver" what would you recommend?
    – jimm101
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 21:22
  • "truck driver" would be the answer to that question. My point is that if you said "Joe is an ostracizer", that wouldn't imply that they're a clique member.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 21:24

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