Posted by Marian on November 11, 2001

In Reply to: Poindexter posted by Lee Gilchrist on October 29, 2001

: Hold it.that's wasn't Poindexter, that was Sherman. My mistake! And I see I also misspelled Brainiac (or was it Braniac) in my previous post. Oh well.just one of those days.

: : In the old Rocky and Bulwinkle (Bulwinkel?) TV cartoon, Mr. Peabody (a time-traveling dog/scientist) had a boy named Poindexter who wore large glasses and was smart of course. It's probably not the origin of the use for a "brainiac" -- but it may have helped to popularize it.

: : By the way, the original "Brainac" was one of Superman's alien nemesis and the original owner of the shrunken Krypton city of Kandor.

I'm sure that this isn't the original usage of Poindexter but I recall playing a board game in the early/mid sixties that I think was called the "Barbie" game, an offshoot of the Barbie doll phenomenon. The object of the game, which was marketed to young girls, was to be the first player to arrive at the place on the board where one could select one's dream date for the prom. There were four boys from which to choose. The boys were pictured on the game board. Poindexter was one of them--the geekiest one. He wore glasses and was delicately built, compared to the other boys, as I recall. It was pretty obvious that the makers of the game intended him to be a geeky loser. I remember feeling rather offended, even as a child, that the game makers could be so callous and shallow as to depict bookworm-type guys as less than desirable.