We all know that one person who acts as if he or she knows everything and dismisses the opinions, comments, or suggestions of others.
In English, the best word to describe a person like this is know-it-all (or know-all) whereas in Italian, you’ll probably hear people using the terms sapientone (for a man) and sapientona (for a woman).
Here are the definite and indefinite articles that accompany this word in its masculine and feminine forms:
- il sapientone = the know-it-all (m.)
- i sapientoni = the know-it-alls (m.)
- la sapientona = the know-it-all (f.)
- le sapientone = the know-it-alls (f.)
- un sapientone = a know-it-all (m.)
- dei sapientoni = (some) know-it-alls (m.)
- una sapientona = a know-it-all (f.)
- delle sapientone = (some) know-it-alls (f.)
If you want to say “to be a know-it-all” or “to act/sound like a know it all”, you can use the expression fare il sapientone (lit. to do the know-it-all).
Non voglio fare il sapientone, ma secondo me…
I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all, but in my opinion…
The word derives from sapiente, which as an adjective means wise or knowing, and as a noun means knowledgeable person. By adding the augmentative suffixes -one and -ona onto the end of the noun, you can confer the meaning “big” (literally “big knower”).
Some synonyms you can come across are:
- saputello (mainly used for young people that think they know better than adults)
- sputasentenze (lit. “sentences spitter”, it is less common but funny to mention because of how it is constructed)