Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 17:06:16 -0500


Subject: Re: -head

A colleague of mine wanted to make sure I added "chowderhead" to the "-head"

list. That then reminded me of "knucklehead,"(my frame of reference there

always was the "Archie" comic strip, I think) "fathead," "farthead," and

"dunderhead." The last one, I believe, grew out of "thunderhead," a

non-slang term for the clouds that roll in immediately ahead of a

thunderstorm, but somehow became synonymous with "chowderhead" et al.

Of course, now we have "Thunderheads"--a self-generated label for fans

of the "Thursday Night Thunder" auto races on ESPN.

It also struck me that "bighead" probably qualifies, as in "...gave him

the bighead" (and I think I've also heard "swellhead" for one with an

overblown confidence in oneself).

Also, as I recall, the American media dubbed the Beatles "mopheads" when

they first arrived here in '64 (although I imagine the term predates that).

Then there are "skinheads," the Nazi-type thugs of the '80s & '90s, but

I seem to remember the term being used for any bald guy prior to that (I

guess I qualify as a "semi-skinhead" at present or "soon-to-be-skinhead").

And let us not forget "maidenhead," that virtually extinct specie in the

sexually liberated '90s, or our old childhood friend "Mr. Potatohead." And

his close relatives of a later period, the "Coneheads."

And, finally, I seem to remember back in the '50s, when I was in high

school, the use of "peanuthead" for a person whose head seemed too small for

his/her body. (Of course, that could send us off into a sublist of "-brain"

words--i.e., "birdbrain," "peabrain," etc., but I don't know if the original

poster wants to go that far?)

Jerry Miller