Top 58 Slang For Disingenuousness – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to navigating conversations and detecting insincerity, having the right vocabulary is key. We’ve compiled a list of the top slang terms for disingenuousness that will help you spot fake friends and phony behavior from a mile away. Stay ahead of the game and brush up on your slang game with this essential guide!

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1. Two-faced

This term refers to someone who presents a different persona or attitude to different people, often hiding their true intentions or feelings. It implies that the person is not genuine or sincere in their actions or words.

  • For example, “I thought she was my friend, but she turned out to be two-faced and talked behind my back.”
  • In a discussion about politics, someone might say, “Politicians are often accused of being two-faced, saying one thing to get elected and doing another once in office.”
  • A person might warn their friend about a mutual acquaintance, “Be careful around him, he’s known for being two-faced.”

2. Fake

This slang term is used to describe someone or something that is not authentic or sincere. It implies that the person or thing is trying to appear or be something they are not.

  • For instance, “She’s always putting on a fake smile, but you can tell she’s not happy.”
  • In a conversation about social media, someone might say, “People often present a fake version of themselves online, only showing the highlights.”
  • A person might express their disappointment, “I thought he was genuine, but it turns out he’s just fake.”

3. Phony

This word is used to describe someone who is not genuine or sincere, often pretending to be something they are not. It suggests that the person is dishonest or deceptive in their actions or words.

  • For example, “He claimed to be a millionaire, but it was all phony. He was actually in debt.”
  • In a discussion about scams, someone might say, “Beware of emails asking for your personal information. They’re often phishing attempts by phony companies.”
  • A person might express their frustration, “I can’t stand people who are phony. Just be honest and authentic.”

4. Pretentious

This term is used to describe someone who acts in a way that suggests they are more important, knowledgeable, or sophisticated than they actually are. It implies that the person is trying to impress others through false pretenses.

  • For instance, “He always name-drops famous people to seem important, but it’s just pretentious.”
  • In a conversation about art, someone might say, “Some artists create pretentious works that are meant to confuse rather than inspire.”
  • A person might express their annoyance, “I can’t stand pretentious people who act like they’re better than everyone else.”

5. Deceptive

This term refers to something or someone that is intended to mislead or give a false impression. It suggests that the person or thing is not honest or transparent in their intentions or appearance.

  • For example, “The advertisement was deceptive, promising a product that didn’t deliver what it claimed.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, someone might say, “He was deceptive about his past, hiding important information.”
  • A person might caution their friend, “Be careful, appearances can be deceptive. Don’t trust everything at face value.”

6. Insincere

This word describes someone who is not genuine or sincere in their words or actions. It implies that the person is pretending or putting on a false front.

  • For example, “He gave an insincere apology just to appease his boss.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might say, “I can’t stand it when people are insincere with their feelings.”
  • A person might describe a politician as “insincere” if they believe the politician is only saying what they think people want to hear.

7. Hypocritical

This term refers to someone who says one thing but does another. It implies that the person is not being genuine or honest in their actions.

  • For instance, “She criticized others for not recycling, but she was hypocritical because she didn’t recycle herself.”
  • In a discussion about honesty, someone might say, “It’s important to practice what you preach and not be hypocritical.”
  • A person might describe a friend as “hypocritical” if they often give advice but don’t follow it themselves.

8. False

This word describes something that is not true or accurate. It implies that the information or statement is misleading or deceptive.

  • For example, “He spread false rumors about his coworker to damage their reputation.”
  • In a conversation about news, someone might say, “It’s important to fact-check before sharing information to avoid spreading false news.”
  • A person might describe a claim as “false” if they believe it has been proven to be incorrect.

9. Dishonest

This term describes someone who is not truthful or trustworthy. It implies that the person is intentionally misleading or deceiving others.

  • For instance, “He was dishonest about his qualifications to get the job.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, someone might say, “Trust is essential, and being dishonest can destroy it.”
  • A person might describe a business as “dishonest” if they believe it engages in unethical practices.

10. Fraudulent

This word describes something that is deceitful or deceptive, often with the intention of gaining money or personal advantage. It implies that the person or thing is involved in fraudulent activities.

  • For example, “He fell for a fraudulent investment scheme and lost all his savings.”
  • In a conversation about online shopping, someone might say, “Be cautious of fraudulent websites that promise unrealistic deals.”
  • A person might describe a product as “fraudulent” if they believe it is a counterfeit or a scam.

11. Disingenuous

This term refers to someone who is not sincere or honest in their actions or words. It describes someone who is pretending to be genuine but is actually being deceptive or insincere.

  • For example, if someone gives a compliment but doesn’t really mean it, you might say, “That was a disingenuous remark.”
  • In a political context, a person might be described as disingenuous if they make promises they don’t intend to keep.
  • A friend who constantly cancels plans at the last minute might be called disingenuous.

12. Underhanded

This word describes someone who is acting in a sneaky or deceitful manner. It implies that the person is using dishonest tactics to achieve their goals.

  • For instance, if someone cheats during a game, you could say they are being underhanded.
  • In a business setting, a person might be accused of underhanded tactics if they use unethical methods to gain an advantage over their competitors.
  • A person who spreads rumors behind someone’s back is engaging in underhanded behavior.

13. Misleading

This term refers to something that is designed to give a false impression or lead someone to believe something that is not true. It suggests that the information or statement is intentionally crafted to deceive or misinform.

  • For example, if an advertisement exaggerates the benefits of a product, it can be considered misleading.
  • A news article that presents biased information could be described as misleading.
  • A person who tells half-truths to manipulate others is engaging in misleading behavior.

14. Untrustworthy

This word describes someone who cannot be relied upon or trusted. It suggests that the person is likely to deceive or betray others.

  • For instance, if someone constantly breaks their promises, they can be considered untrustworthy.
  • In a professional setting, a person who regularly takes credit for others’ work is seen as untrustworthy.
  • A friend who shares personal secrets without permission is behaving in an untrustworthy manner.
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15. Sly

This term refers to someone who is clever or crafty in a deceitful way. It suggests that the person is skilled at manipulating others or achieving their goals through subtle or sneaky methods.

  • For example, if someone always seems to know more than they let on, they might be described as sly.
  • In a social context, a person who flatters others to gain their trust and then uses that trust for their own benefit is acting sly.
  • A politician who uses clever rhetoric to hide their true intentions is being sly.

16. Cunning

This term refers to someone who is clever and skilled at deceiving others. It implies a level of intelligence and strategizing to achieve personal gain or advantage.

  • For example, “He used his cunning to manipulate his way to the top.”
  • In a discussion about politics, one might say, “Politicians often rely on cunning to gain support and win elections.”
  • A person might describe a con artist as “cunning and manipulative.”

17. Crafty

This word describes someone who is skilled at using deceit or trickery to achieve their goals. It implies a level of cleverness and resourcefulness in achieving one’s desired outcome.

  • For instance, “She came up with a crafty plan to get out of trouble.”
  • In a discussion about business tactics, one might say, “Being crafty can sometimes give you an edge in negotiations.”
  • A person might warn others by saying, “Be careful, he’s a crafty one.”

18. Shady

This term refers to someone or something that is suspicious or untrustworthy. It implies a lack of transparency and honesty in their actions or intentions.

  • For example, “He’s involved in some shady business dealings.”
  • In a conversation about a person’s character, one might say, “I don’t trust him, he’s always been shady.”
  • A person might describe a situation as “shady” if they suspect foul play or deception.

19. Sneaky

This word describes someone who behaves in a secretive and deceptive manner. It implies a level of stealth and cunningness in their actions, often with the intention of avoiding detection or achieving personal gain.

  • For instance, “He’s always sneaky, you never know what he’s up to.”
  • In a discussion about pranks, one might say, “I pulled off a sneaky prank on my friend.”
  • A person might warn others by saying, “Watch out for her, she’s sneaky and manipulative.”

20. Conniving

This term describes someone who is scheming and deceitful, often with the intention of manipulating others for their own benefit. It implies a level of calculating and strategic behavior in achieving one’s desired outcome.

  • For example, “She’s conniving and always finds a way to get what she wants.”
  • In a discussion about workplace politics, one might say, “Some people are conniving and will do anything to get ahead.”
  • A person might describe a mastermind villain in a movie as “conniving and ruthless.”

21. Manipulative

This term refers to someone who is skilled at influencing or controlling others in a clever or dishonest way. A manipulative person often uses tactics such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or playing mind games to achieve their desired outcome.

  • For example, “She manipulated him into buying her expensive gifts.”
  • In a discussion about toxic relationships, someone might say, “Beware of manipulative partners who try to control your every move.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Don’t let her manipulative tactics sway you. Stick to your own decisions.”

22. Scheming

This word describes someone who is constantly making secret plans or plotting to achieve their own goals, often at the expense of others. A scheming person is cunning and manipulative, and they may use deceitful tactics to get what they want.

  • For instance, “He’s always scheming to get ahead in his career.”
  • In a discussion about political intrigue, someone might say, “The scheming politicians stopped at nothing to gain power.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Watch out for her. She’s a scheming individual who will do anything to get what she wants.”

23. Guileful

This term refers to someone who is crafty, sly, and skilled at deceiving others. A guileful person is able to manipulate situations or people to their advantage through cunning and deceit.

  • For example, “He used his guileful tactics to win the game.”
  • In a discussion about con artists, someone might say, “Beware of guileful individuals who try to scam you out of your money.”
  • A person might advise their friend, “Don’t be fooled by her guileful behavior. She’s not as innocent as she seems.”

24. Treacherous

This word describes someone who is disloyal, dishonest, and willing to betray others for their own gain. A treacherous person cannot be trusted, as they are often deceitful and willing to go against their word or commitments.

  • For instance, “He proved to be treacherous by leaking sensitive information.”
  • In a discussion about backstabbing friends, someone might say, “Be cautious of treacherous individuals who pretend to be your ally.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Stay away from him. He’s known for his treacherous behavior.”

25. Unscrupulous

This term describes someone who has no moral principles or values and is willing to act dishonestly or unfairly to achieve their goals. An unscrupulous person lacks integrity and may engage in deceitful or unethical behavior without any remorse or guilt.

  • For example, “He engaged in unscrupulous business practices to gain an advantage.”
  • In a discussion about corrupt politicians, someone might say, “We need to hold unscrupulous leaders accountable for their actions.”
  • A person might caution their friend, “Be careful dealing with him. He’s known for his unscrupulous behavior.”

26. Machiavellian

This term refers to someone who is skilled in the art of manipulation and deceit, often for personal gain. It is derived from Niccolò Machiavelli, an Italian political philosopher known for his book “The Prince,” which explores the use of cunning and deceit in politics.

  • For example, “He used Machiavellian tactics to undermine his opponents and gain power.”
  • In a discussion about a cunning business strategy, someone might say, “That’s a Machiavellian move.”
  • A person describing a manipulative friend might say, “Beware of him, he’s quite Machiavellian.”

27. Sly as a fox

This phrase is used to describe someone who is clever and cunning in their actions or behavior. It compares the person to a fox, which is known for its intelligence and sly nature.

  • For instance, “He managed to outsmart his opponents with his sly as a fox tactics.”
  • In a conversation about a deceptive plan, someone might say, “We need to be as sly as a fox to pull this off.”
  • A person describing a sneaky character in a movie might say, “He’s sly as a fox, always one step ahead.”

28. Snake in the grass

This phrase refers to someone who appears harmless or friendly but is actually deceitful or treacherous. It compares the person to a snake hiding in the grass, waiting to strike.

  • For example, “Watch out for him, he’s a snake in the grass.”
  • In a discussion about a backstabbing colleague, someone might say, “She’s a snake in the grass, always plotting against others.”
  • A person describing a dishonest politician might say, “He’s nothing but a snake in the grass, making false promises.”

29. Wolf in sheep’s clothing

This phrase is used to describe someone who appears innocent or harmless but is actually deceitful or dangerous. It compares the person to a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing, disguising their true nature.

  • For instance, “He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be your friend but actually betraying you.”
  • In a conversation about a manipulative partner, someone might say, “Beware of him, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
  • A person describing a con artist might say, “He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, tricking people with his charm.”

30. Smooth operator

This term refers to someone who is skilled at navigating social situations and manipulating others through charm and charisma. It implies that the person is smooth and suave in their actions.

  • For example, “He’s a smooth operator, always charming his way out of trouble.”
  • In a discussion about a persuasive salesperson, someone might say, “She’s a smooth operator, convincing people to buy things they don’t need.”
  • A person describing a manipulative ex-partner might say, “He was a smooth operator, always knowing the right things to say.”

31. Crooked

This term refers to someone who is not honest or trustworthy. It is often used to describe individuals who engage in fraudulent or deceitful behavior.

  • For example, “He’s a crooked politician who takes bribes.”
  • In a discussion about corruption, someone might say, “The government is full of crooked officials.”
  • A person warning others about a scam might say, “Watch out for that crooked salesman, he’ll rip you off.”

32. Swindling

This term refers to the act of cheating or deceiving someone, usually for personal gain. It is often used to describe individuals who manipulate others for financial or material benefits.

  • For instance, “He’s been swindling people out of their life savings.”
  • In a conversation about scams, someone might say, “The company was involved in a swindling scheme.”
  • A person warning others about a fraudulent business might say, “Don’t trust that company, they have a history of swindling their customers.”

33. Charlatan

This term refers to someone who claims to have skills or knowledge they do not possess. It is often used to describe individuals who deceive others by pretending to be something they are not.

  • For example, “He’s a charlatan posing as a doctor.”
  • In a discussion about fake psychics, someone might say, “Those charlatans are just trying to take your money.”
  • A person warning others about a con artist might say, “Don’t believe that charlatan’s promises, they’re just trying to scam you.”

34. Trickster

This term refers to someone who plays tricks or engages in deceitful behavior for amusement or personal gain. It is often used to describe individuals who use cunning or cleverness to deceive others.

  • For instance, “He’s a trickster who always finds a way to get what he wants.”
  • In a conversation about practical jokes, someone might say, “That prank was pulled off by a master trickster.”
  • A person warning others about a manipulative individual might say, “Beware of that trickster, they’ll try to trick you into doing something you’ll regret.”

35. Con artist

This term refers to someone who uses deception or manipulation to gain the trust of others and then exploit them for personal gain. It is often used to describe individuals who engage in elaborate schemes or scams.

  • For example, “He’s a con artist who convinced people to invest in a fake business.”
  • In a discussion about online scams, someone might say, “Watch out for those con artists pretending to be your long-lost relatives.”
  • A person warning others about a fraudulent scheme might say, “Don’t fall for that con artist’s tricks, they’ll steal your money.”

36. Shifty

This term refers to someone who is untrustworthy or unreliable. It suggests that the person is constantly changing their behavior or acting in a suspicious manner.

  • For example, “I don’t trust that guy, he seems really shifty.”
  • In a conversation about a dishonest politician, someone might say, “He has a shifty look in his eyes.”
  • A person describing a manipulative friend might say, “She’s always up to something, she’s so shifty.”

37. Double-dealing

This term refers to someone who is secretly acting in a dishonest or deceptive manner, often betraying the trust of others. It implies that the person is involved in multiple conflicting interests or agendas.

  • For instance, “I can’t believe he was double-dealing behind our backs.”
  • In a discussion about a business deal gone wrong, someone might say, “It turns out he was double-dealing with our competitors.”
  • A person describing a two-faced friend might say, “She’s always double-dealing, you never know whose side she’s really on.”

38. Faux

This term is used to describe something that is not genuine or real, often used to refer to an imitation or counterfeit item. It suggests that the thing in question is meant to deceive or trick others.

  • For example, “She’s wearing a faux designer bag.”
  • In a conversation about art, someone might say, “I prefer original paintings over faux reproductions.”
  • A person describing a fake smile might say, “He always puts on a faux cheerful demeanor, but I can tell he’s not really happy.”

39. Bogus

This term is used to describe something that is false, fake, or counterfeit. It implies that the thing in question is intended to deceive or trick others.

  • For instance, “That website is full of bogus information.”
  • In a discussion about a scam, someone might say, “They sold us bogus tickets to the concert.”
  • A person describing a fake product might say, “I bought this watch online, but it turned out to be bogus.”

40. Mischievous

This term refers to someone who enjoys causing trouble or playing pranks, often in a playful or sly manner. While it doesn’t necessarily imply malicious intent, it suggests a certain level of deceit or trickery.

  • For example, “He has a mischievous grin on his face, I wonder what he’s up to.”
  • In a conversation about a troublemaker, someone might say, “She’s always coming up with mischievous ideas.”
  • A person describing a sneaky friend might say, “He’s a mischievous little devil, always getting into trouble.”

41. Illusory

This word refers to something that is misleading or deceptive, creating a false impression.

  • For example, a person might say, “The politician’s promises turned out to be illusory.”
  • In a discussion about magic tricks, someone might comment, “The magician’s illusory techniques left the audience in awe.”
  • A person might warn, “Be careful of falling for illusory advertisements.”

42. Fallacious

Fallacious means something that is based on a mistaken belief or flawed reasoning.

  • For instance, a person might say, “His argument was fallacious and lacked evidence.”
  • In a debate, someone might point out, “Your reasoning is fallacious because it relies on a faulty premise.”
  • A person might caution, “Beware of fallacious claims and misinformation.”

43. Perfidious

Perfidious refers to someone who is deceitful, untrustworthy, or disloyal.

  • For example, a person might say, “She proved to be perfidious by leaking confidential information.”
  • In a discussion about betrayal, someone might comment, “The perfidious actions of the spy shocked everyone.”
  • A person might warn, “Stay away from perfidious individuals who only have their own interests in mind.”

44. Dissembling

Dissembling means to conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs, often by pretending or lying.

  • For instance, a person might say, “He was dissembling about his involvement in the scandal.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might comment, “Dissembling can destroy trust between partners.”
  • A person might advise, “Be wary of those who are skilled at dissembling and manipulating others.”

45. Machinating

This word refers to scheming or planning something devious or dishonest.

  • For example, a person might say, “The villain was constantly machinating to overthrow the hero.”
  • In a discussion about political intrigue, someone might comment, “The machinating of power-hungry politicians can have dire consequences.”
  • A person might caution, “Beware of those who are constantly machinating behind the scenes.”

46. Pseudo

This term is used to describe something or someone that is pretending to be something they are not. It is often used to refer to a person who is pretending to have certain qualities or skills.

  • For example, “He claims to be a doctor, but he’s just a pseudo-intellectual.”
  • In a discussion about fashion, someone might say, “That designer’s collection is just pseudo-bohemian.”
  • Another might comment, “She puts on a pseudo-friendly act, but she’s actually quite rude.”

47. Covert

This term refers to something that is concealed or not openly displayed. It is often used to describe actions or behaviors that are done in secret or with the intention of deceiving others.

  • For instance, “He had a covert plan to steal the money without anyone knowing.”
  • In a discussion about espionage, someone might say, “Covert operations are an essential part of intelligence gathering.”
  • Another might comment, “Her covert flirting with other people is causing problems in her relationship.”

48. Duplicity

This term refers to the act of being deceitful or dishonest, especially by pretending to have different feelings, intentions, or beliefs at different times. It is often used to describe someone who says one thing but does another.

  • For example, “Her duplicity was exposed when it was revealed that she had been secretly working for the competition.”
  • In a discussion about politics, someone might say, “Politicians are often accused of duplicity, saying one thing to get elected and then doing another.”
  • Another might comment, “His duplicity in business dealings has caused him to lose the trust of many people.”

49. Fake AF

This term is an abbreviation for “Fake as F***” and is used to emphasize that something or someone is extremely fake or dishonest. It is often used to express disbelief or disappointment in someone’s actions or behavior.

  • For instance, “That Instagram model is fake AF, with all her photoshopped pictures.”
  • In a discussion about social media influencers, someone might say, “Some of these influencers are just fake AF, pretending to have a perfect life.”
  • Another might comment, “His apology was so insincere, it was fake AF.”

50. Playing dumb

This term refers to the act of pretending to be unaware or ignorant about something, often in order to deceive or manipulate others. It is often used to describe someone who is intentionally hiding their knowledge or understanding.

  • For example, “He’s not really clueless, he’s just playing dumb to avoid taking responsibility.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, someone might say, “She’s playing dumb about her ex-boyfriend, even though we all know they’re still in contact.”
  • Another might comment, “The suspect is playing dumb during the interrogation, pretending to have no knowledge of the crime.”

51. Sugarcoating

Sugarcoating refers to the act of downplaying or sweetening a situation or information to make it more palatable or less harsh.

  • For example, a person might say, “I appreciate your feedback, but please don’t sugarcoat it.”
  • In a discussion about a difficult decision, someone might comment, “Let’s be honest and not sugarcoat the fact that layoffs are unavoidable.”
  • A friend might say, “I need your honest opinion, no sugarcoating.”

52. Putting on a show

Putting on a show means to behave in a manner that is insincere or meant to impress or deceive others.

  • For instance, someone might say, “She’s just putting on a show to make herself look better.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s behavior, a person might comment, “He’s always putting on a show to get attention.”
  • A friend might say, “I can see through his act, he’s just putting on a show.”

53. Pulling the wool over someone’s eyes

Pulling the wool over someone’s eyes means to deceive or trick someone by hiding the truth or manipulating them.

  • For example, a person might say, “Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes, they’re just trying to take advantage of you.”
  • In a discussion about a scam, someone might comment, “The salesman really pulled the wool over my eyes with his smooth talk.”
  • A friend might say, “I can’t believe he pulled the wool over our boss’s eyes and got away with it.”

54. Slick

Slick refers to someone who is smooth, charming, or clever in a way that may be disingenuous or manipulative.

  • For instance, someone might say, “Watch out for him, he’s a slick talker.”
  • In a conversation about a persuasive salesperson, a person might comment, “He’s so slick, he could sell ice to Eskimos.”
  • A friend might say, “She’s always trying to manipulate people with her slick tactics.”

55. Fake news

Fake news refers to false or misleading information that is presented as factual news.

  • For example, a person might say, “Don’t believe everything you read online, there’s a lot of fake news out there.”
  • In a discussion about misinformation, someone might comment, “Fake news has become a major issue in today’s media landscape.”
  • A friend might say, “I’m tired of all the fake news being spread on social media.”

56. Snake oil salesman

This term refers to someone who sells fraudulent or ineffective products, often claiming they have miraculous or magical properties. It originated from the practice of selling “snake oil,” a supposed cure-all medicine that was actually ineffective.

  • For example, someone might say, “Don’t trust that guy, he’s just a snake oil salesman.”
  • In a discussion about scams, a person might warn, “Be careful of falling for snake oil salesmen who promise quick fixes.”
  • Another might comment, “The internet is full of snake oil salesmen trying to sell you their ‘miracle’ products.”

57. Putting up a front

This phrase refers to the act of presenting oneself or behaving in a manner that is not genuine or true to one’s actual feelings or intentions. It involves putting on a false facade or appearance.

  • For instance, someone might say, “He’s always putting up a front to make himself look better than he actually is.”
  • In a discussion about authenticity, a person might argue, “Putting up a front only leads to unhappiness and disconnection from others.”
  • Another might comment, “It’s exhausting to constantly put up a front and pretend to be someone you’re not.”

58. Faking it

This phrase refers to the act of pretending or acting as if one possesses knowledge, skill, or experience that they do not actually have. It involves presenting oneself as more competent or knowledgeable than one truly is.

  • For example, someone might say, “I don’t really know what I’m doing, I’m just faking it.”
  • In a discussion about imposter syndrome, a person might confess, “I often feel like I’m just faking it and everyone will eventually find out.”
  • Another might comment, “Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it and gain the necessary skills or knowledge.”