English vocabulary question

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
User avatar
vogeltje
Blue Belt
Posts: 889
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: London
Languages: Belgian French (N)

I can speak: Dutch, German, English, Spanish and understand Italian, Portuguese, Wallonian, Afrikaans, but not always correctly.
x 537

English vocabulary question

Postby vogeltje » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:54 pm

I've got a question about a word in English:

The opposite of arrogant or show off can be modest or humble.

I mean when you describe a person.

arrogant (adjective)
show off (noun or verb)

modest (adj)
humble (adj)

so, my question is, if exists a noun or verb synonym for humble? or maybe you have to add 'person'. 'show off' is quite flexible because you can use it as a noun, so I'd like to know if a good antonym exists for that.

Thank you :)

Edit: of course i know those words, they're really easy to guess haha :lol: but I mean if English has got a word that is the opposite of show-off (noun). I like it when one langauge has a word that another lanaguge hasn't got. German is great for this!!!
0 x
-w- I am Jar-ptitsa and my Hawaiian name is ʻā ʻaia. Please correct my mistakes in all the languages. Thank you very much.
: 1 / 50 Spanish grammar
: 5 / 50 Spanish vocabulary

DaveBee
Blue Belt
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: UK
Languages: English (native). French (studying).
x 899

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby DaveBee » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:50 pm

A show off, showing off.

A person could be a wall-flower/ghost and you could use them as verbs.

John was there, and spent the evening wall-flowering.
John was there, ghosting about.

But a ghost can also be a SPY, so mild-mannered AND a man of action! What a catch!
2 x
FR films: 56 / 100, FR books: 32 / 35

User avatar
reineke
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2120
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:34 pm
Languages: Engrish
x 3360

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby reineke » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:00 pm

An anti-braggart, self-effacer, self-doubter.
1 x

User avatar
Xmmm
Green Belt
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:19 am
Location: США
Languages: ru it id
x 743

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby Xmmm » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:33 pm

I think the kind of nouns you're looking for are almost always created as aspersions. Braggart, wastrel, spendthrift, blowhard, cad, lech, loafer, moocher, miser, gossip, fop.

So, I can think of nouns for "humble person" with negative connotations: mouse, doormat, milquetoast. But I can't think of any positive ones.
2 x
ru : 1177 / 2500 it : 359 / 2500 id : 10 / 2500

Speakeasy
Blue Belt
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 1837

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:47 am

I believe that the noun/adjective pair that you're looking for is humility/humble.

Humility is the state of being humble or free from pride or arrogance.

A range of synonyms for the noun humility suggested by the Webster's dictionary include: humbleness, modesty, meekness, diffidence, unassertiveness, servility, submissiveness. However, in my view these are not necessarily interchangeable: I would never replace modesty by servility.
1 x

Speakeasy
Blue Belt
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 1837

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:02 am

Xmmm wrote: ... I can think of nouns for "humble person" with negative connotations ... But I can't think of any positive ones.
An oft-used synonym for "humble" is "modest" which denotes the absence of vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions and a "modest person" is generally perceived as someone displaying an admirable trait of character. Still, in the hands of a skilled orator, being called "modest" can serve as a left-handed compliment: "Mr. Attlee is a very modest man. Indeed he has a lot to be modest about." - Winston Churchill
2 x

User avatar
Xmmm
Green Belt
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:19 am
Location: США
Languages: ru it id
x 743

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby Xmmm » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:12 am

OP wants a concrete noun meaning the opposite of "a show-off". If it doesn't exist, maybe we should make it up and see if it goes viral.

Possibilities:

humilicant (fake derivation from Latin)
humilidor (fake derivation from Spanish, or maybe again from Latin I don't know)
crevasse (as in, crevasses are deep and quiet and so is this guy)

I'm sure others can come up with better neologisms ... please get to work and remember when you're done I get the credit. :)
3 x
ru : 1177 / 2500 it : 359 / 2500 id : 10 / 2500

User avatar
zenmonkey
Brown Belt
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew (A0), Italian (A1), Ladino (A0), (Yiddish, Portuguese) ...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
x 1873
Contact:

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby zenmonkey » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:05 am

A supplicant.
Apparently not used enough to be current coin and with too many other meanings.

How about a modest mouse. A bit slangish.
2 x
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com

Tillumadoguenirurm
Orange Belt
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 3:07 pm
Languages: English
x 203

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby Tillumadoguenirurm » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:04 pm

Unassuming.
1 x

User avatar
vogeltje
Blue Belt
Posts: 889
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: London
Languages: Belgian French (N)

I can speak: Dutch, German, English, Spanish and understand Italian, Portuguese, Wallonian, Afrikaans, but not always correctly.
x 537

Re: English vocabulary question

Postby vogeltje » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:56 am

DaveBee wrote:A show off, showing off.

A person could be a wall-flower/ghost and you could use them as verbs.

John was there, and spent the evening wall-flowering.
John was there, ghosting about.

But a ghost can also be a SPY, so mild-mannered AND a man of action! What a catch!


Thanks for your reply. I didn't know those words :)

Mild-mannered seems nice, but not a spy. Wall-flower and ghost seem like the person is invisible, so not loud or overwhelming, so I suppose a different type of antonym of show-off.
0 x
-w- I am Jar-ptitsa and my Hawaiian name is ʻā ʻaia. Please correct my mistakes in all the languages. Thank you very much.
: 1 / 50 Spanish grammar
: 5 / 50 Spanish vocabulary


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], smallwhite, warszk and 1 guest