10 Words for Someone Who Takes Credit for Others’ Work

It’s incredibly frustrating when someone accepts praise and commendation for your work or ideas. But is there a single term in English to describe such a person?

Below, we’ve compiled a list of great, one-word terms for someone who takes what isn’t there’s. So, read on!

Words for Someone Who Takes Credit for Others’ Work

  • Plagiarist
  • Fraud
  • Purloiner
  • Charlatan
  • Cryptomnesiac
  • Imposter
  • Thief
  • Appropriator
  • Forger
  • Copycat


  • A “plagiarist” is someone who copies and redistributes someone else’s works, especially their intellectual property.
  • If someone steals your ideas without your permission, you can call them an “appropriator.”
  • When someone breaches your trust and steals from you, you can use the word “purloiner.”

Before you go! We still need to discuss our three chosen words for someone who takes credit for others’ work in more detail below.

Moreover, we’ll provide some helpful example sentences using each of these phrases. 


When someone steals your work, especially your intellectual property, you can call them a “plagiarist.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a “plagiarist” as “a person who uses another person’s ideas or work and pretends that it is their own.”

Not only is plagiarism generally morally dubious, but it is serious enough to lead to suspension from your school or university.

Moreover, even though it’s not technically a crime, you could be sued if your plagiarism violates someone else’s intellectual property rights. So, best to avoid it!

Have a look at the examples below to see this phrase in action:

He’s a plagiarist, but you’ll find that most content creators on that platform are.

This prestigious university has overlooked a great many things, but we draw the line at a plagiarist.


“Appropriator” is a suitable word for someone who takes credit for others’ work. After all, the Cambridge Dictionary defines “appropriate” as “to take something for your own use, usually without permission.”

The “something” in this definition can include art or music you have created, literature or research you have written, and it can even refer to when someone takes credit for your ideas at work.

Therefore, if a colleague presents something that you came up with as if it were their own idea, you can call them an “appropriator.”

Check out these example sentences to see this phrase in action:

Jim always takes credit for everything; he’s a total idea appropriator.

He’s a concept thief, but the skills and techniques in your artwork will always overpower any rubbish that an appropriator could make.


According to Merriam-Webster, to “purloin” is “to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust.”

To be a “purloiner” the person who takes credit for someone else’s work must do so knowingly and dishonestly. After all, a purloiner is also defined as “someone who steals.”

Whereas plagiarism and, in some cases, appropriation can occur accidentally, there is an element of intention involved in purloining.

Therefore, when someone takes credit for your work after purposefully breaching your trust, “purloiner” is the most suitable term to go with.

Let’s see this term used in a couple of examples:

That insipid purloiner stole half of my designs.

You’re not an inventor, you’re a purloiner, and that is how history will remember you.