Walter Mitty

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Walter Mitty

An unremarkable or ineffectual person who has fantasies or delusions of grandeur. A reference to the titular character in James Thurber's short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He has been described as the Walter Mitty of the political world, a complete nobody who has somehow contrived a career out of standing on a soapbox and protesting against anything the mainstream politicians do. My father worked for the same company for over 50 years and never even left his home state, but he was always something of a Walter Mitty, dreaming about a life of adventure.

Walter Mitty

A person, generally quite ordinary or ineffectual, who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs. For example, He's a Walter Mitty about riding in a rodeo but is actually afraid of horses. This term comes from James Thurber's short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939), describing just such a character.
References in classic literature ?
This very awkward history of Mr Elliot was still, after an interval of several years, felt with anger by Elizabeth, who had liked the man for himself, and still more for being her father's heir, and whose strong family pride could see only in him a proper match for Sir Walter Elliot's eldest daughter.
The Kellynch property was good, but not equal to Sir Walter's apprehension of the state required in its possessor.
There was only a small part of his estate that Sir Walter could dispose of; but had every acre been alienable, it would have made no difference.
Sir Walter straightened himself and called out something that was lost in another noise of firing; it was possible that the police were already avenging their comrade from the other side.
it's like an explosion!" cried Sir Walter; and indeed it was the only word for this unearthly energy, by which one man had been able to deal death or destruction on three sides of the same small triangle at the same instant.
Then followed a curious silence; and Sir Walter, walking to the window through the thinning smoke, looked into the hollow shell of the ancient tower.
"I said it was like an explosion," said Sir Walter Carey at last.
There was a long silence, and then Sir Walter said, seriously: "Well, Mr.
"The spiritualists," said Sir Walter, with a smile, "would say that spirits could find a great deal of use for a table."
"Your reasoning seems to me excellent," said Sir Walter, who was listening attentively.
He got briskly off the table on which he was sitting (for the only chair was allotted to Sir Walter) and ran rapidly up the ladder to the platform above.
Sir Walter's private secretary seemed more and more threatened with inappropriate slumber, and, having been the last to climb up the ladder, seemed now to lack the energy even to climb down again.
"Come along, Fisher," called out Sir Walter from below, when the others had regained the floor.
"What are you waiting for?" asked Sir Walter, impatiently.
"Who it seems to be!" repeated Sir Walter in astonishment.