Often your boss/team mates seems just to know everything better despite having expertise in a specific discipline. What polite metaphor/periphrasis would you choose that states clearly and shortly thier solution for a problem is oversimplified and out of their scope without offending them in the team e.g. on a discussion?

  • "Klugscheisser" is not the same thing as "a problem is out of their scope". More importantly, you did not say what your goal in the conversation is. That your colleague understands that you know better than him?
    – Phira
    Jul 23, 2011 at 16:40
  • @thei that may be the context where they give a oversimplified solution to a problem without having the expertise. How you state this politely in german? Its not about yourself knowing better
    – Hauser
    Jul 23, 2011 at 16:51
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    My point is that you don't use a metaphor or a euphemism for them being out of their depth if you don't want to offend them. You just address whatever aspect of the problem they overlooked.
    – Phira
    Jul 24, 2011 at 9:16
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    @thei e.g. you talk with your team mates on a discussion about a suggested solution of your boss and want to state that his "solutions" generally are not top notch and highly reflected. How do one make this insinuation shortly without causing offence and not starting a general discussion on the skills of your boss.
    – Hauser
    Jul 24, 2011 at 11:37
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    I'm with @thei on this one. The least offensive thing to do would be to not chastise people on the basis of their perceived adeptness. Sugarcoating an offensive idea doesn't make it less offensive. If you think a solution to a problem is oversimplified, then say just that. Explaining what makes you think so — even if it's just a few short points — helps, too. IMHO this is more of a question for a Ms. Manners site; it's not really a German-language thing.
    – RegDwight
    Jul 24, 2011 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


It is a rhetoric issue depending much on the situation and how close you are with a person. It is always a little bit offending especially in a team at work because people may take it personally. Using "Schlaumeier" or "Schlauberger" may be less aggressive. At work it may be a better approach to address this issue objectively.

  • 1
    thx, i like Schlauberger, but imo sounds still too offending, thats why i asked for a periphrasis/metaphor/aphorism maybe. Wouldnt imo be so personally. In english i would probably say he tends generally to rash decisions/solutions. Would you translate this literally or a there better ways to express this in German?
    – Hauser
    Jul 24, 2011 at 11:45
  • @Hause: if we're talking about some higher-up in the hierarchy, you should consider that making decisions quickly even when not all the details are known might be part of his job. Jul 25, 2011 at 6:43

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