A person who always makes people upset

twinklestar

Senior Member
Chinese
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 ?
     

    JamesM

    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.
     

    twinklestar

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    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...
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    How about:

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

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

     

    theartichoke

    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.
     

    AngelEyes

    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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