This word, インテリ, is an abbreviated version of インテリゲンチャ, (the intelligentsia) meaning ‘intellectual’, referring to a person or class of people who have a tendency for intellectual prowess as opposed to physical strength or ability.
The term was originally coined in Russia to refer to the intellectual elite. (Source) As such, people labelled with this term might be somewhat unapproachable or stuck up – 「賢そうな人」や「知識階級を気取った人」, use difficult words or look down on those that can’t keep up with them.
You might also translate the above to something like ‘he looks like an intellectual’ or even ‘she looks like a brainiac’. The addition of っぽい to インテリ means ‘looks like’, ‘seems like’ or ‘sounds like’, so it is a judgement made from sensory information or other small clues known, rather than giving an accurate depiction of the person. Depending on the speaker’s intent, インテリ could be used in both a positive and negative context, although it tends to have a slightly more negative feel.
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