The obscure word of the week is ultracrepidarianism

This week’s obscure English word is ultracrepidarianism. It comes from Latin and refers to a cognitive bias by which somebody with expertise in one field believes that this gives them expertise in unrelated areas.

Allegedly the term was first noted as a phrase by Pliny the Elder, describing the moment when an artist asked a shoemaker to judge whether a painting had correctly portrayed a shoe. When the shoemaker began commenting on other aspects of the painting, the artist replied: ‘ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret‘, ie: a shoemaker should not judge beyond the shoe.

Your challenge: write a sentence or two in the comments using either word.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2022


2 thoughts on “The obscure word of the week is ultracrepidarianism

  1. But I’ll bet the artist would be incapable of making himself a set of shoes. And what about those who know a little bit about a lot of things? Might they be called “infra-crepidarians”?

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