Have you come across someone who likes to make fun of others? Perhaps you’re wondering what words you can use to describe people that mock those around them.
Here are some of the best ways to talk about someone who makes fun of others:
A person who makes fun of others is called “bully,” “tormentor,” and “mocking.” “Bully” and “tormentor” both show that someone is cruel or rude to others. “Mocking” refers to someone’s poor behaviour when they do not respect someone and like to make fun of them.
“Bully” is one of the best synonyms you can use. It shows that someone likes to belittle those around them, often because they have deep-rooted trauma themselves.
Bullies will often look for ways to mock others. They will try to pick out people’s biggest flaws or insecurities and lean into them. It’s difficult to understand why bullies act the way they do, but they tend to get a lot out of mocking other people and making them feel small.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find bullies in all situations, whether on the school grounds, at a workplace, or at a family gathering.
The definition of “bully,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who hurts or frightens someone else, often over a period of time, and often forcing them to do something that they do not want to do.”
- You’re nothing more than a bully. I don’t want anything to do with you when you act like that.
- Stop being such a bully. There are many better ways to act, yet you choose to mock those around you.
“Tormentor” is similar to “bully,” as it shows that someone is happy to bully and torment those around them. They will also pick out people’s insecurities and play into them to make them feel as uncomfortable as possible.
It’s difficult to ignore tormentors. The things they say and do are designed to hurt you physically and emotionally. You need to be careful if you know one because they could easily drain your happiness and make you feel smaller than you deserve.
The definition of “tormentor,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who causes a person or an animal great mental suffering and unhappiness, or great physical pain.”
- She’s a bit of a tormentor. We’ve tried to get her out of the habit, but she’s always so cruel to the children.
- Stop being a tormentor. You need to start accepting those around you for what they can offer.
“Mocking” is a great adjective referring to someone’s inappropriate behaviour towards others. “Mocking” people enjoy making fun of others and picking out their mistakes. It’s great to use a term like this when you know someone deliberately finds humour in someone else’s shortcomings.
Mocking someone is never a good trait. You should not do it unless you’re close to the person and know they don’t mind being mocked. In most cases, you should avoid doing it because there are plenty of more effective (and less cruel) ways to be funny.
The definition of “mocking,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “mocking behaviour involves laughing at someone or something in an unkind way.”
- He has a mocking spirit about him, and most people will try to avoid him. They always feel so ashamed when he’s near.
- I didn’t mean to come across as mocking there. I really tried to hold it in, but you said such stupid things!
“Ridicule” works well if you’re looking for a verb. This time, it refers to someone’s action of mocking others and making them feel stupid. “Ridicule” means that someone is poking fun at other people’s issues and trying to make them feel useless or small.
“Ridicule” is usually more aggressive than “mock.” While both can work as verbs, “ridicule” suggests that you took the mocking too far and genuinely upset somebody. You need to be careful with this as you can never be sure how much emotional damage “ridiculing” someone will cause.
The definition of “ridicule,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “unkind words or actions that make someone or something look stupid.”
- I did not intend to ridicule his family. I think it’s stupid that they decided to do this without his input.
- I’m not trying to ridicule you. I just believe you’re an idiot. It’s not my fault that your actions prove my point.
“Contemptuous” is a great term to use here. It shows that someone is disrespectful and refuses to be kind to others. You can use it when someone likes to mock those around them, especially when they intend to bring them down or make them feel unwelcome.
Contemptuous people thrive off making others uncomfortable. They will do and say whatever they need to when it comes to mocking people they know.
The definition of “contemptuous,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “expressing or feeling a lack of respect.”
- You are so contemptuous! Why can’t you just accept us for who we are? You don’t have to try to put us down.
- She’s a bit too contemptuous for my liking. I’ve tried to get along with her, but I don’t see it working very well.
“Scornful” shows that someone dislikes other people and tries to mock them at any opportunity. It shows they have an unpleasant personality and enjoy making others feel bad about themselves.
Scornful people usually don’t care who they hurt or upset. They will do and say whatever they want, as long as they feel like they’re more powerful than the people they are judging and scorning.
The definition of “scornful,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “showing or feeling scorn for someone or something.”
- Your scornful attitude won’t get you anywhere these days, Michael. Surely, you can see that we’re trying our best here.
- I don’t want you to grow up as scornful as your father. My only wish is that you stop acting out like this.
“Pester” works really well when you are mocking someone. It shows that you say little and annoying things to try and mock someone for their choices or actions.
“Pester” works well as a verb. It shows you are mocking someone in a very subtle way. Most people won’t even notice you’re trying to make fun of them at first.
It takes a little while for people to realise that you’re pestering is actually a way to mock or insult them. The more you do it, the more it tends to hurt someone’s feelings.
The definition of “pester,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to behave annoyingly towards someone by doing or asking for something repeatedly.”
- She keeps pestering me and making me feel small. I didn’t do anything to upset her, yet she thinks she can get away with this.
- I will pester you until the very end of time! It’s what you deserve because you were always so silly growing up!
“Sneering” means you are rude and disrespectful. This often goes hand-in-hand with making fun of someone, as it shows you do not respect them. It’s great to use a phrase like this when you want to show that someone is too happy to poke fun at other people.
“Sneering” is closer to a bad habit or character trait than a deliberate or active choice. Sneering people often act in mocking ways without realising it. Most people don’t even realise how bad their sneering can be until someone points it out.
The definition of “sneering,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “rude and not showing respect.”
- I spotted her sneering at me the other day. I don’t think I want to be around her anymore. She’s made me feel uncomfortable.
- You should stop sneering at him. One of these days, he’ll come over and tell you off. I wouldn’t let it get to that point.
“Derisive” works well in this context. It shows that someone is happy to laugh at others and mock them because they feel they are smaller or less important. It’s a really nasty character trait, but it’s surprisingly common in many people.
You can call someone “derisive” when they have proven that they enjoy mocking people. Derisive people often try to make themselves appear bigger after mocking those around them. They will often ridicule people or make them feel small.
- Your derisive tone is too much for them. They can only take so much, and I think it’s better if you apologise right now.
- They’re too derisive for me. They like to mock everyone who’s outside of their family. I can’t stand that attitude.
“Sardonic” means someone tries to joke around with people but often takes the jokes too far and upsets them. While it’s not always a deliberate action, sardonic people end up mocking others without intending to.
Of course, the easy solution is to be respectful and polite. If you avoid making unkind jokes, you’ll avoid being sardonic.
Though, this is easier said than done for some people. Some think the best form of humour comes from insulting others, which yields terrible results in many cases.
The definition of “sardonic,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “humorous in an unkind way that shows you do not respect someone or something.”
- You’re sardonic, and I’m not okay with that. A little bit of respect goes a long way. You should try it sometime, Jenkins.
- I’m too sardonic for my own good sometimes. I’m certain my boss is trying to get me out of the company!
“Hypocrite” Is slightly different from the other terms but works well. It suggests that someone mocks people for their choices, but they often do the same things.
Hypocrites usually make fun of others even when they would do the same things they mock others for. It’s difficult to reason with a hypocrite because there isn’t much logic behind their arguments.
The definition of “hypocrite,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who says they have particular moral beliefs but behaves in a way that shows these are not sincere.”
- You’re such a hypocrite. You’re allowed to mock whoever you want, but not when you do all the things they do.
- She is a hypocrite. She mocked me for wanting to join the team. Now, I find out that she joined the team too.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.