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As precocious ( adjective ) (also precocious ) the common usage of language describes an allegedly precocious , sometimes cheeky utterance by a child or a young person. The adjective, which cannot be increased, is considered to be a mild form of reprimand when pronounced towards the child , since his expressions of opinion or even character traits only appear clever, for example because he or she cannot yet have enough knowledge of the world and life. The rebuke can then hit the gifted as well as parroters or blenders.

The term "precocious" can refer to

  • the general appearance, the demeanor of a child who is apparently smarter than his age
  • certain answers
  • Glances based on situations or speech

According to the philosopher Robert Pfaller , precariousness consists in emulating supposedly reasonable ideals in an unreflective and dogmatic way, which, however, does not correspond to adult behavior that can also weigh up and put into perspective.


  • Thomas Mann described precociousness in his work Buddenbrooks as "unconscious wisdom", as "that serious feeling of premature sophistication ... which is called precociousness."


  1. The digital dictionary of the German language of the 20th century.
  2. ^ The German Dictionary, Knaur, 1985, Munich, page 121
  3. ^ Oskar Piegsa: Robert Pfaller: "Enjoyment is political" | ZEIT campus . In: The time . July 27, 2016, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed on May 13, 2017]).
  4. Robert Pfaller in an interview - brand eins online. Retrieved May 13, 2017 .