Definition: Someone who is full of himself and arrogant about his perceived knowledge, though in reality you’re ignorant and immature.
This adjective comes from the combination of Greek sophos, meaning wise or clever, and moros, meaning foolish. Dating from 1813, the term was initially used in England; today, however, it is used mainly in the U.S.
Why this word?
In the United States, high school and college students take on a nickname according to their year in school. Freshmen are students in their first year, seniors are in their last year, and sophomores and juniors are students in the middle second and third years. While one would think freshmen, as the youngest, would get any free-floating disrespect that the other students harbour, the sophomores those whose grade level has come to be associated with immaturity and pretentiousness, in the related word sophomoric.
Some would say sophomores get a bum rap, or do they? A sophomoric attitude is one that is based on a limited view of one’s own obliviousness. Sophomoric humor, for example, is juvenile, something one would expect from a younger, less mature person; bathroom humor would be a good example. And besides humor, isn’t it these youngsters, who with one year of schooling behind them, often deem themselves intelligent, worldly, urbane – but whose intellect hasn’t yet finished freshman year?