Great question. I sometimes struggle with the correct nomenclature myself. Mute? No no, that’s not right–that’s someone who never talks. Man of few words? Yeah I guess that’s closer but it’s still a mouthful to say and more of an idiom than what we’re looking for here. Quiet? Well I suppose that works, but quiet really refers to volume, no? A person is loud or quiet–the lack of words shouldn’t be mistaken for the volume at which they are intermittently spoken.
But fear not, I’ve thought long and hard and believe I have the correct term: Shy Guy. Shy Guys come in all shapes, sizes, and colors (actually I think all the shapes and sizes are the same, just different colors) but the most common is certainly the red one. He is an iconic staple of many mini-games and often acts as a sort of utility man. Sometimes he’s a referee, sometimes he’s a target, sometimes he’s a villain. The Shy Guy truly is a jack of all trades.
But one thing remains constant through all Shy Guys and that is the lack of words. To be honest, I’m not sure they’re actual words, more like grunts and mutters but nevertheless, he does speak sometimes. So next time you’re struggling with what to call Bill from Accounting who says 6 words a week, reach for Shy Guy.
Even better example: