What is the term for somebody who talks to themself?
June 8, 2006 10:17 PM   Subscribe

What is the term for somebody who talks to themself?
posted by UbuRoivas to Writing & Language (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Soliloquist?
posted by Gyan at 10:20 PM on June 8, 2006


Inner monologist (talks to themselves non vocally)?

posted by Juggermatt at 10:41 PM on June 8, 2006

Crazy? (In the parlance of our times.)
posted by kyleg at 11:07 PM on June 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

or Schizophrenic
posted by lain at 11:14 PM on June 8, 2006


actually I just made that one up
posted by jtron at 11:20 PM on June 8, 2006

I tried looking on Wikipedia but it was all moderation flamewars :(
posted by jtron at 11:23 PM on June 8, 2006

If I was magically warped into a Seinfeld episode, I'd call someone a 'selftalker'. As to some sort of clinical term...
posted by maxpower at 11:30 PM on June 8, 2006

Response by poster: Gyan may have holed this in one, but I don't want to mark any best answers as yet, in case the suggestions dry up.

My first impulse was "sololocutor", and I used "selftalking" as a tag for the post.

I would have thought that the psychological field might have some specialised term for the act, or for people-who-talk-to-themselves. At the very least, if terms like Weltschmerz or Weltanschauung are kosher in psych, then maybe the Germans have a word like Selbspracher that could be borrowed, because - as we all know - those Germans have a word for everything.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:39 AM on June 9, 2006

Sorry to disappoint, UbuRoivas, but as far as I know (and I am a German native speaker), there is no single word in German for a person talking to herself. There is a word for the act though:SelbstgesprÃĪch (literally: self conversation).
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 2:27 AM on June 9, 2006

Mumblers ?
posted by XiBe at 2:28 AM on June 9, 2006


A lector is a reader. I think you mean autolocutor, which was my first thought, but appears to also be a coinage.
posted by epugachev at 2:42 AM on June 9, 2006

Are you asking for something to call yourself? Because it would be too complicated to even bother with the process of determining whether he was talking to himself or not. I talk out loud when I am alone fairly often, but I am not talking to myself.
posted by vanoakenfold at 3:30 AM on June 9, 2006

Best answer: Tom Stoppard gives stark raving sane.

R: "Ah, I think I've got it. A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense, not to himself."

G: "Or just as mad."

R: "Or just as mad."

G: "And he does both."

R: "So there you have it."

G: "Stark raving sane."

posted by bleary at 4:58 AM on June 9, 2006

Best answer: The psycholinguistic term? Appears to be a form of the one you knew coming in, "self-talker". Since you already tagged the question self-talking, you probably known some of the background on the research. If not, this seems a good overview on on Piaget, Vygotsky, and others concerning "private speech" or "egocentric speech", as described in children's development, and "self-talking" when describing adult speech.

Unfortunately, most references just talk about those who engage in "self-talking", rather than directly giving them a term. But, there is at least one expert in the field who does use the self-talker term: Erving Goffman. In his book "Forms of Talk" Erving references the term "self-talker" multiple times (according to the ever handy search-inside Amazon feature).

So, if you want to sound like a learned psycholinguist, self-talker sounds like a good bet.
posted by mdevore at 6:28 AM on June 9, 2006

posted by mbrubeck at 10:02 AM on June 9, 2006

Do I know the term for this? Hmm, I am pretty sure I know it.... or am i? Wait, let me think about it.. now where was the last time I heard of this? think, James, THINK. Wait.. Its on the tip of my tongue. Geeze, what's my problem??
posted by petsounds at 10:18 AM on June 9, 2006

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