13 Other Ways to Say “Know-It-All”

Okay, so you’re wondering how to say “know-it-all” politely.

After all, the last thing you’ll want to do is accidentally insult someone when using it.

So, you need to know a few alternatives.

Luckily, you have options! This article will explore synonyms showing you a different nickname for a know-it-all.

Other Ways to Say “Know-It-All”

  • Mastermind
  • Smartypants
  • Brainiac
  • Show off
  • Clever clogs
  • Walking encyclopedia
  • Wise owl
  • Brainbox
  • Mr. Know-Everything
  • Wiseacre
  • Scholar
  • Highbrow
  • Egghead


  • “Know-it-all” is an insulting way to refer to someone who knows a lot and rubs it in others’ faces.
  • “Mastermind” is a great polite alternative that shows you don’t want to offend someone.
  • “Smartypants” is great to use informally, as it shows someone tries to prove themselves better than others.

Keep reading to learn another way to say “know-it-all.” We’ve touched on the best formal and informal phrases to help you here.

You can also read the final section to learn if it’s rude to say “know-it-all.” That way, you’ll know if it’s appropriate to include it in your writing in the first place.

Mastermind (Polite)

You can use “mastermind” as another way to say “know-it-all.”

It’s an incredibly useful phrase to include as a compliment. For instance, you can call your coworkers “masterminds.”

It’s not insulting. Instead, it shows that you’re happy to learn from someone’s extensive knowledge. We recommend using it when you respect the knowledge someone shares with you.

Most people will be flatted to hear a phrase like this!

Here are some examples showing you how to use it:

He’s a bit of a mastermind. I always go to him when I need help understanding these things.

You’re a mastermind! Seriously, how did you learn all of these things?

Smartypants (Funny)

While there isn’t a nice way to say “know-it-all” (as it implies that someone mocks you for being smarter than you), you still have alternative options.

Try “smartypants” instead of “know-it-all.” It’s a slightly more light-hearted and fun alternative.

Of course, it’s still insulting. However, it’s highly effective when talking about someone who likes to rub their knowledge of specific things in your face.

We only recommend using it when talking about friends or acquaintances. It’s best to use it when you know someone in a more casual setting, as it’s not a professional word.

Also, try not to use it in a way that will upset your friends! If you’re going to use it with close friends, use it sarcastically (or not at all).

Also, these examples should help you with it:

Stop being such a smartypants. You’re so cheeky when you try proving your knowledge to us.

You’re a smartypants, aren’t you? I mean, I wish I could get away with it too! I’m nowhere near as smart as you, though.

Is It Rude to Say “Know-It-All”?

It is rude to say “know-it-all.” It’s usually quite an insulting phrase, which means you don’t respect someone for their knowledge or the information they provide.

Generally, know-it-alls are annoying. You should only call a person a know-it-all when they keep sharing information with you that you didn’t ask for.

Also, if someone always has an answer to a question, it implies they’re a know-it-all. They might share those answers with you when you didn’t ask for their input.

So, we don’t recommend using it nicely. It’s only ever an insult. Try to avoid calling your friends “know-it-alls,” as you’ll only end up upsetting.

Nevertheless, here are some examples showing you how to use it:

He’s a bit of a know-it-all. I can’t stand it when he’s around because he always finds ways to answer these questions.

You’re too much of a know-it-all, and you need to tone things down a bit! Please stop trying to get the better of us.

As you can see, a “know-it-all” often thinks they’re better than the people around them. Therefore, it’s an insulting way to remind someone they don’t know any more than you.