Learn English – pessimistic counterpart to the term “Pollyanna”


The term "Pollyanna" came into the lexicon with the 1913 publication of Pollyanna, a novel by Eleanor H. Porter. The name has come to mean

A person regarded as being foolishly or blindly optimistic.

(By the way, the term echoes Voltaire's Pangloss, a character from Candide "who views a situation with unwarranted optimism.")

The term is used in the following way:

"Only a Pollyanna would think the climate change problem will solve itself over time."

I've wracked my brain to come up with a correspondingly pessimistic term, based on a character in literature, but I'm coming up empty. Yet it feels like there must be such a name just beyond the veil of cobwebs blocking my memory. Any ideas?

The term must involve a character from literature, and must be in a form that would fill in the following blank:

"Only a _______ would think human beings can't figure out a way to solve the issues that we face."

Best Answer

Eeyore is a pretty popular name to use in this context.

Eeyore is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne. He is generally characterized as a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old grey stuffed donkey who is a friend of the title character, Winnie-the-Pooh.

TVTropes names its depressed character trope "The Eeyore", and calls it "the polar opposite of The Pollyanna".

For example: 1 | 2