9 ways to call someone a ‘liar’
Has someone been pulling the wool over your eyes? Have they been ‘economical with the truth’? Told you ‘terminological inexactitudes’? You can do better than just ‘liar’. Why don’t you try calling them out with this curated list of synonyms? After all, what stings more: ‘liar’ or ‘teller of untruths’? You decide – here is a quick collection of liar synonyms:
1. Teller of untruths
For the poetically inclined, teller of untruths had a nice sting to it. You might even consider expanding the accusation to ‘teller of untruths, your trousers have combusted!’ in reference to the likely apocryphal story of translating the phrase ‘liar, liar, pants on fire!’ into French and then back again.
Not only were they lying, they were also doing it under oath. It’s a crime! Perjure ultimately comes from the Latin word periūrāre, ‘to swear falsely, to break one’s oath’.
If false evidence is part of the problem, then fabricator should do the trick. Of course, fabricator may also refer to a person who ‘constructs or manufactures something’.
If they’re dancing around the truth, then equivocator might be just the word for you. The word refers to a person who ‘uses ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing themselves.
Another word to nail down someone skirting around reality, prevaricator can be suitably applied to someone who ‘speaks or acts in an evasive way’. The word prevaricate goes back to the Latin word praevāricārī, ‘to plough crookedly or (of an advocate) to practice collusion’.
6. Spinner of yarns
Are they a teller of tall tales? Of far-fetched accounts of unlikely veracity? You might consider dropping ‘spinner of yarns’ into the discussion. With roots in nautical slang, consider it a bonus if your target is a sailing type.
Another storytelling option, you can touch on fabulist if the person is ‘a liar, especially a person who invents elaborate, dishonest stories’. That said, fabulist may also refer to a ‘person who composes or relates fables’, so the term is best avoided if your target is Aesop or Orwell.
Does this person lie about trivial, random things? Then there’s no better way to belittle them than with the archaic fibster.
Send ’em running to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) with this one. Pseudologist is a rare and humorous term referring to a ‘systematic liar’. You get to feel cultured also; the word goes back to the Greek term ψευδολόγος, which means ‘speaking falsely, lying’.
Any favourite liar synonyms that we missed? Let us know about it!