A person who always makes people upset


Senior Member
Is there any English word or phrase to describe a person who always say catty remarks to make other people upset provokatively, and rain on other's parade?

I just know a sourpuss, but it is not close to my meaning.

My Oxford Chinese dictionary define sourpuss as a person who is not cheerful or pleasant .

Thank you!
Last edited:
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    There are various alternatives, but it depends on the person you're talking about, the circumstances, and how offensive you want to be. Can you provide more context ?


    Senior Member
    Oh, we have many. :) I don't know that there's one word that encompasses both behaviors you describe, but "killjoy" might work. If the provocation is done in order to cause conflict or embarrasment for people a "shitstirrer/shit stirrer" might work (although some would consider it vulgar) or "troublemaker".

    As Glasguensis said, it would help to have examples of the behavior.


    Senior Member
    For example, if I propose to go to a movie, and he would say oh, the movie is boring, only idiot like you would go.

    If I post something on a forum, and try to discuss what is a nice person, he would reply with a slightly insult answer...

    He is not friend nor enemy; not harmful, but annoying...it seems that his goal of life is always to try to upset people...


    Senior Member
    USA English
    How about:

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    killjoy /ˈkɪlˌdʒɔɪ/n
    • a person who spoils other people's pleasure



    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I'm not sure about "killjoy": there seems to a measure of deliberate intention in the description of someone whose "goal in life is always to try to upset people." To my mind, one can be a killjoy without deliberately trying to be one, and killjoys spoil pleasure, as the definition says--which is not exactly the same as upsetting people.

    In an online setting, such a person would be (loosely defined) a troll. In person, I'd be tempted to simply call him "a bit of a jerk/dick" (the latter may be seen as vulgar, and neither term is really applicable to women). Can't think of a really accurate, non-vulgar term, though.


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    A person who just rains on someone's parade can be called a "real downer."

    I'd agree with theartichoke that a person who would post on, say, this forum in a very insulting way could be called a "troll."

    A person who is just annoyingly unpleasant is "a piece of work."

    A person who says something to make another person feel bad about themselves is a bully - although the word "bully" is used to mean physical abuse, too. But bullying takes many forms, including the circumstances you posted.

    A person in a romantic relationship who makes the other person continually feel bad about themselves is a "verbal and emotional abuser."

    And a person who would call you an idiot because you want to go to a certain movie is an asshole, but I don't think that's what you had in mind.

    It sounds to me, though, you're looking for an all-purpose word to describe someone who is just insulting and superficially a dickhead. I don't think there's one word that will do all that.

    I think bully is the most general one, but it's not perfect. Killjoy is okay, but some of your situations show a person who's mean just to be mean - and almost cruel. A killjoy can be a person who makes himself as miserable as the people around him. He's a generally morose person to begin with.
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