A neanderthal is someone who is rude and not very smart. If your brother interrupts your garden party by spraying your guests with a hose, you can call him a neanderthal.

When neanderthal is spelled with a lower-case n, it means a cretin or a dolt — a rough, mean, and slightly foolish person. If you spell it with a capital N, it means an extinct species of human being, and it's the root of the lower-case version. The word Neanderthal is German, named for the Neander Valley where human fossils have been found, and around 1926 neanderthal became popular British slang for a "big, brutish, stupid person."

Definitions of neanderthal
  1. adjective
    ill-mannered and coarse and contemptible in behavior or appearance
    synonyms: boorish, loutish, neandertal, oafish, swinish
    (used of persons and their behavior) not refined; uncouth
Word Family