Posted by DH on August 20, 2004
In Reply to: Rocket Scientist posted by Ward on August 20, 2004
: : : : From SlangSite:
: : : : atom splitter: Sarcastic description of an unintelligent person...
: : : :
: : : : Alternatively, a hangover of magnificent proportions...
: : : : So far, can find no support for either of these definitions. Anybody? Thanks
: : : Calling a 'stupid' person an 'atom splitter' is right up there with calling them a 'brain surgeon'. The implication being that it takes more than a modicum of intelligence to be a brain surgeon, and splitting the atom was something of a feat too. So 'atom splitter' is the antithesis of 'unintelligent person' - hence the sarcasm.
: : : As for the hangover theory, well that's a new one on me. Presumably the implication is that the hangover is of such monumental proportions as to be as momentous as the splitting of the atom. I dunno - just a theory!!
: : There is a beer from the Orkney Brewery called "Skull-Splitter" - those Orcadians had to find something to do on those dark lonely nights in the North Atlantic...
: A term used in a slightly different way in the States is 'rocket scientist'. Someone might say about some accomplishment -- you don't have to be a rocket scientist to do that! This term became popular after the triumphs of NASA in the 60s and 70s, when being a rocket scientist was about as impressive as you could get.
Thank you guys--your comments agree quite closely with the definition I cited, from SlangSite
However, I spend quite a spell Googling the expression and couldn't find a single additional example of the usage, suggesting it hasn't exactly caught on