Wordnik word of the day: witticaster

Today’s word of the day is witticaster, “an inferior or pretended wit; a witling.” In other words, someone who thinks they’re funny even though they’re not. The word is formed by a combination of witty + -aster, the latter part a suffix that indicates approximation, rough similarity, or pretended resemblance. You may have seen it in poetaster, “a petty poet: a feeble rimester, or a writer of indifferent verses,” but it also occurs in a number of less common words. A philsophaster is “a pretender to philosophical knowledge; an incompetent philosopher.” A criticaster is “an inferior or incompetent critic; a petty censurer.” A grammaticaster is “a petty or pitiful grammarian; one who insists upon the minutest grammatical niceties.” A politicaster is “a petty politician; a pretender to political knowledge or influence.” A medicaster is “a pretender to medical knowledge or skill; an ignorant doctor.” A theologaster is “a quack in theology; a shallow or pretended theologian.” Of a slightly different nature—referring to something other than a person—are parasitaster, “an insignificant parasite,” oleaster, a type of wild tree that looks like a type of cultivated olive tree but isn’t, and verticillaster, a flowering part of a plant that looks whorl-like but isn’t a true whorl.