I find I often need a word such as this. Some people are just relentless querulants and I want to be able to refer to that aspect of them, e.g. "John's relentless querulism". Doesn't seem like that's a real word though...

Wikipedia on Querulant


  • I don't recognise your word querulant, and it's not in OED, so could you explain where you got it from, and what you want it to mean? Querulous mean having a complaining nature, from which the noun form is querulation. Is that what you intended? – FumbleFingers Apr 2 '12 at 12:06
  • Already added the Wikipedia link – Hubro Apr 2 '12 at 12:10

FumbleFingers is right in saying that querulant is not in the OED, but querulist, 'A person who complains, a complainer', is. The corresponding noun, also in the OED, is querulousness, meaning ‘The state or condition of being querulous’ and it's probably the word you're looking for. However, you may want to be sure your intended readers will know what these words mean before using them.

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    Outside of formal usage (in legal, psychiatric contexts, etc.) I think people would normally just say complaining or (much more likely for me) carping anyway. – FumbleFingers Apr 2 '12 at 12:28
  • The OED may say querulist is a word, while querulant isn't, but Google Ngrams says the opposite. – Peter Shor Apr 2 '12 at 12:32
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    @Peter Shor: Leafing through NGram instances of querulant over the past 40 years, I see less than a dozen that are actually in English publications (invariably in a psychiatry context). All results after the first page or two seem to be in German publications. – FumbleFingers Apr 2 '12 at 12:40

As Barrie says, querulousness (or querulation) are the actual derived terms.

But in practice most people would speak of John's constant carping.

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