Don’t you love the internet? It’s given people a place to spread their opinions far and wide, no matter how much or little they actually know about what they’re saying. On the internet, everyone can pretend to be an expert. There’s some good news among all these depressing truths, however: we’ve dug up the perfect word to be used against these people next time they try to argue with you.
While the internet has only exacerbated this painful problem, it turns out humanity has been like this for a long time. So long, in fact, that our term for opinionated, uninformed debaters was first coined all the way back in the 4th Century BC.
The word is ‘ultracrepidarian’ and also comes in such fabulous forms as ‘ultracrepidarianism’. Curiously, the translation for this Latin phrase is actually “beyond/above the shoe (or shoemaking)’.
This harks back to the supposed origin of this phrase in the 4th Century BC, when Greek artist Apelles told a shoemaker who criticised his art “sutor, ne ultra crepidam”. The translation of this is “shoemaker, not beyond the shoe”, or more precisely “a shoemaker should not judge beyond the shoe”.
While this phrase has lent itself to the word ultracrepidarian, it has also created idioms in many different languages that are still used today such as “a cobbler should stick to his last” or “shoemaker, to your shoes”.
So next time someone tries to lecture you on something they know nothing about, call them out for the ultracrepidarian they are. At the very least, you’ll gain some time while they have to go look up what it means.
Today I Discovered is a daily dose of facts for Lifehacker readers – the weird, wonderful and sometimes worrying. Most of the time, it’s just mind-blowing. Let us know if you discovered anything that blew your mind in the comments!