What is the meaning of "often mistaken, never in doubt"? In what context is the phrase used?

  • My opinions may change, but never the fact that I am right. – MetaEd Jun 29 '12 at 4:25

It means a person who voices opinions with great confidence, even though he is often wrong. Someone who thinks very highly of his own intelligence or judgement but who is not really that smart.

I often say, "He's someone who never lets complete ignorance of a subject get in the way of having strong opinions about it."


It's often used in a military context, where senior officers often give authoritative-sounding answers without actually knowing anything about the topic. (In junior officers, this may be no bad thing; most training establishments teach 'better a bad decision than no decision'. But this is going off-topic.)


It is a derogatory statement referring to someone who makes inaccurate assumptions without second-guessing or thinking through those assumptions.


The phrase is a longer, slightly expanded way of describing someone who is cocksure.

feeling perfect assurance sometimes on inadequate grounds


See also the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  • This isn't appropriate as an answer in itself. Expand it, or leave it as a comment. – dwjohnston Jun 16 '14 at 22:36

This means giving an answer even thou you could be wrong. The only wrong answer is no answer.

  • 2
    Not sure what you mean by "the only wrong answer is no answer". The first part of your answer makes sense, the second part no so much. Can you expand on it a bit? – toryan Jun 16 '14 at 22:08

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