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Posted by Masakim on October 24, 2001

In Reply to: Poindexter posted by Deborah on October 24, 2001

: My students are reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham. In it one of the characters is referred to as Poindexter by other students...because he likes to read a lot. As I understand it, it's used to refer to a "brainiac" (as one of my students described it) or a very smart person... maybe a know-it-all?? Where does this term originate and does anyone have a more specific definition or description of it's meaning? Thanks for your help.

poindexter n. [1980s] (US teen) an intellectual, bookush person. [play on POINTED-HEAD]
pointed-/pointy-head/pointhead n. [1960s+] (US) 1 a fool. 2 an intellectual. [both terms are derog. and suggest that an excess or an absence of brain lead to a 'pointed' head]
From Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green

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