Word of the Week: Besserwisser

Jul 31, 2015

We all know a Besserwisser. Maybe it's that classmate who constantly corrects the teacher, or that friend who points out every one of your spelling mistakes. Perhaps it's your colleague, who believes he's the only one who can do the job correctly.

The German word Besserwisser means "better-knower". In English, you would call this sort of person a know-it-all, a wiseguy or a smart aleck. Basically, someone who obnoxiously believes he or she is always correct and knows how to do things better than you do. Conversing with a Besserwisser is never enjoyable - especially if the Besserwisser is wrong, but refuses to admit that fact.

Besserwisser Enlarge image (© colourbox) In addition to the word Besserwisser, there are two other German synonyms to describe this type of person: a Naseweiß and a Klugscheißer. All three are used in a negative sense. After all, it's never a compliment to be called a know-it-all. So regardless of how intellectual you may consider yourself, make sure you listen to what others have to say before shutting them down!

By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany

© Germany.info

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