[Ads-l] brainiac (UNCLASSIFIED)

MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY CCDC AVMC (USA) 0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Mon Dec 16 17:13:57 EST 2019


CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

Thanks, Ben.

I must have misspelled it when I searched for it in the OED.  

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of
> Ben Zimmer
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 2:02 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: brainiac (UNCLASSIFIED)
> 
> 
> 
> ----
> 
> OED3 (Dec. 2002 update) has "brainiac" as a noun from 1975 and as an
> adjective from 1976. Noun is defined as: "A very intelligent person; an
> expert.
> Sometimes depreciative or derogatory, with connotations of social
> inadequacy or ostracization."
> 
> n.:
> 1975   Elem. Eng. 52 474/2   The discussions..emphasized the spirited
> speech these pre-teenagers enjoy. They began to invent words and phrases
> to express themselves fully. Hence a 'brainiac' gave the exact idea of a
> modern genius that one boy wanted to convey.
> 
> adj.:
> 1976   New Musical Express 12 Feb. 30/3   Nick Kent finds a brainiac kid
> wallowing in a four-way blitzkrieg bog.
> 
> On Mon, Dec 16, 2019 at 12:49 PM MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
> CCDC AVMC (USA) <0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu>
> wrote:
> 
> > CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED
> >
> > A brainiac is an intelligent person, possibly who is ostracized for
> > their brightness.  Comes from the proper noun "Brainiac" which is
> > either a villain from the Superman comics, or a toy computer kit (see
> > Wikipedia for details).
> >
> >
> > I don't see this version of brainiac in either the OED or in the OED
> > SF project.
> >
> > Noun:
> >
> > _Washington [DC] Star_ 15 Jan 1980 p C-4 col 3 "They called him
> > 'brainiac' and told him to 'go back to grammar school' ".
> > [article about child prodigies in college]
> >
> > White Plains NY _Journal News_ 16 Jun 1985 p C1 col 1 [syndicated AP
> > article] "That was where he was first dubbed a 'brainiac,' she said."
> >
> > Twin Falls Idaho _Times-News_ 15 Mar 1987 p A-12 col 2  [syndicated AP
> > article] "Shelvy, an honor role [sic] student whose grades have been
> > declining, told Fordham she was not putting forth full effort because
> > she didn't want to be labeled 'a brainiac'."
> >
> >
> > Adjective:
> >
> >
> > _99'er Magazine_ 1982 [issue undated, copyright 1982] v1#5, p 17  col
> > 1
> >
> > "Even companies that own big 'brainiac' computers are buying micros to
> > spread around to key people."
> >
> > _Austin [TX] Chronicle_ 29 July 2005 p 84  col 2 "oddly directed by
> > Tim Story (last seen helming the disastrous Jimmy Fallon travesty
> > Taxi), this is the origin story of brainiac sci-fi guy Reed  Richards
> > (Gruffudd), his capable lady love Sue Storm (Alba), her cocksure,
> > testosterone-bomb of a kid brother (Evans), and friend-to-the-end Ben
> > Grimm (Chiklis), and what happens to them after they're saturated by
> > radiation from a cosmic storm while orbiting the Earth in the name of
> > Saving Mankind."
> >
> >
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

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