Is Calling Someone Ridiculous An Insult?

You’re discussing with a friend and suddenly your friend blurts out “you’re ridiculous”. How does that make you feel?

Are you cool with it or does it cause you to get flared up? On the flip side

Are you okay with calling someone ridiculous or do you think it’s inappropriate to do so? Different people have different paradigms and so receive things differently. Here in this article, you’ll find conclusive answers to these questions.

Is It?

Is Calling Someone Ridiculous An Insult?

We’ve all had that point in our lives when we were beside ourselves with laughter or we were so frustrated that we called someone “ridiculous”.

Getting a better understanding of the word “ridiculous” is one thing that’ll help us decode if it is an insult or not.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, ridiculous means, foolish or unreasonable and deserving to be laughed at.

This shows that they’re different meanings to the word ridiculous. A person can use the word ridiculous when you say something that is unbelievable or extremely surprising.

A person can also use the word ridiculous when they feel you’re telling lies and what you’re saying doesn’t add up. This is usually in a confrontation or in an agitated situation.

So the answer is a tricky one indeed, calling someone ridiculous is a neutral thing to do. It depends on the situation and the body signals which the other party gives.

What Does It Mean When You Call Someone Ridiculous?

Admit it.

We’ve all used the word “ridiculous” on someone at one point or the other and in different scenarios.

Calling someone ridiculous means so many things and we’ll explore them.

They are very foolish


I understand we should believe the best about other people and love them genuinely but some dudes are just very foolish and there’s no apology about that.

Sometimes, you really need to call their attention to the reality of their foolishness–if they’re willing to listen, that is. How you decide to call their attention to their foolishness is your call but I suggest you do so gently so as to mitigate hard feelings that might arise

I’ve had that feeling where I tried to relate with people, understand them, or flow with them and they did absurd things. Scratch that. Foolish things and I guess you have too.

Telling a person that he’s ridiculous means calling that person’s foolishness out.

They’ve done something unbelievable

Is Calling Someone Ridiculous An Insult?

When a person has done something extraordinary, you can use the word ridiculous –in a positive way. Let’s say a friend of yours broke the record in a football game, you can say they’ve done something ridiculous.

Also, if your friend won a contest where they obviously had slim chances to win, you can say that was ridiculous or unbelievable while congratulating them heartily.

Sometimes you can use ridiculous in a negative way when you’re in a heated situation with someone. If you’re in an argument with a sibling or a friend and the other party begins to accuse you of things you never did in the heat of anger, you can say they’re ridiculous because what they’ve said is unbelievable and you don’t agree with them.

Here the word ridiculous is used positively in the first case scenario and negatively in the second case scenario.

They’re funny

People will always do things that’ll crack you up, sometimes they might tell stories that’ll seem so funny as though they never happened. When you say they’re ridiculous here, you mean they’re being funny and hilarious.

They can also put up characters that you find incredibly funny. Using the word ridiculous here means that you find them funny and hilarious.

Sometimes people will do things and intend it  to be mean or hurting like throwing insults at you or giving curt remarks. However if you’re an elegant person, you might find it ridiculous and laugh it away. That’s a good comeback for a mean person right there.

You probably have moments when you’ve used the word on people who’ve displayed clownish behaviors. So in this context using the word ridiculous is synonymous to saying someone’s funny.

They’re weird and absurd

Is Calling Someone Ridiculous An Insult?

Humans are idiosyncratic and we do not always behave alike. Some people are easy going, bubbly, and fun to be with. Some are quite strange and they do things contrary to what others do.

They don’t just think outside the box, they’re looking to decorate the box and make it look their way. We have such people littered all around us as our siblings, friends, classmates, and colleagues.

Right from their eccentric dressing, to their weird looks to their absurd way of thinking, talking, and relating with other people. When a person is adept at doing weird things, you call them ridiculous people if you want to pick on them or if you can no longer bear their excesses.

These weird people unfortunately are all over us and we can hardly avoid them, so we’re pretty much stuck with them for a very long time.

How To Say Ridiculous In A Polite Way

People have different personalities, perceptions, and different levels of understanding. I actually find that most arguments are because people have misunderstood themselves and not a mere disagreement of facts.

This is why choosing your words when dealing with people is very important, you don’t want to have a reputation of a rude, and disrespectful person. You should take time to scrutinize your words to ensure they convey the intended meaning in a respectful manner

Whether you’re intending it to use it lightly or you’re intending to be mean with it, you might be looking for ways to use the word “ridiculous” subtly so that the other party isn’t hurt.

That’s an amazing thing to do because while you pass across your message, you can still maintain your relationship with the other party.

This can also be used negatively if you want to throw shades at someone and you want to do that lightly and not incite hard feelings that can cause further trouble.

So here are some ways to say “ridiculous” in a polite way.

You’re goofy” 

Is Calling Someone Ridiculous An Insult?

If you’ve had someone do something silly, ridiculous, funny and all, you can say they’re goofy instead of using the word ridiculous.

Ridiculous might send across the message that they’re being mocked at and made jest of, so using the word goofy is a polite way to say that someone’s ridiculous.

That’s incredible”

When something is incredible, that thing is impossible to believe because of how rarely it happens. Incredible is used mostly on a positive note.

You might want to use the word incredible when a person has done something amazing.

When someone has broken a record, cooked an amazing meal, carried out a project with perfection, settled a dispute, or anything worthy of praise. You use the word incredible in such situations instead of saying that it’s ridiculous. 

When you use the word ridiculous, you might be trying to convey the right message with the wrong words and it’ll stir up unwanted feelings. 


You can say something is hilarious when it is absolutely funny. Hilarious is a subtle word which can be used in a wide range of situations without making the other party feel stupid.

When a friend has done something funny or stupid in a comic way, you can say they’re hilarious.

This doesn’t sound rude in any way but you’ve successfully said they’re hilarious with zero hard feelings of any sort.


You’ve definitely come across some clothing materials or items that had ridiculous prices. Saying that the prices are ridiculous could make you seem crass and ill Mannered.

In this scenario using the word outrageous should be your best bet. When someone or something is outrageous, such a person or thing is eye-catching, startling, or unbelievable.

You can use the word outrageous instead of using ridiculous and you’ll not have issues with the other party.


Is Calling Someone Ridiculous An Insult?

Fantastic means extraordinarily good or attractive. That’s a good word to use when you feel that a person has done well. If your child aced his test or won the soccer championship using the word ridiculous can be hurting for the child even if you mean good.

The word fantastic conveys a better meaning. It shows that someone has done something worthy of praise and it makes whoever hears it feel like a Marvel hero and that’s what you want to do if you want to appreciate someone for what they have done. Fantastic is definitely the word to use when you want to say “ridiculous” politely.


To be wacky is to be funny or amusing in a very unusual way. 

Like earlier stated, people can be awkward many times. You might have a classmate who dresses in an odd manner, eats in an odd manner, doesn’t care about anybody, is always alone, and avoids everyone else. Sometimes they might be doing this unintentionally or intentionally, you can never know.

If you find their weirdness amusing, you can say they’re wacky. This is a polite way to say that someone is ridiculous. You can say someone’s wacky when they’re making people uncomfortable with their behavior and mannerisms.


The word ridiculous is a neutral word whose meaning depends on the context of its use. It can be used positively and negatively. It all depends on how you use it, the situation where you use it, and your body language.

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