Thursday, 27 March 2014

Cerebral - That Means Brainy, Idiot

A human brain
A brain
(Image by DJ)


Adjective & noun. Early 19th century.
[from Latin CEREBRUM + -AL: compare with French cérébral.]

A1(a) adjective. Of or pertaining to the brain. E19

A1(b) adjective. Appealing to the intellect rather than to the emotions; clever; intellectual. E20


noun. PHONETICS. A cerebral consonant. E19

(1) cerebral palsy a disorder chiefly characterized by spastic paralysis due to brain damage before or at birth.
cerebralism noun (a) intellectualism; (b) (now rare) the theory that mental processes arise from the action of the brain: L19
cerebralist noun (a) an intellectualist, an intellectual; (b) (now rare) a supporter of the theory of cerebralism: L19
cerebrally adverb L19

I've already used Lexicolatry to express my disdain for the word cerebral or, more specifically, its reckless application to things that are trying hard to be cerebral. However, on arriving at the word itself, I'm starting to specifically dislike it - it's just so damn pretentious. And what type of self-aggrandising deluded moron would you have to be to describe yourself as a cerebralist? Or your own interests as cerebral? Or The Matrix, of all the films? Oh my. It really is time I got over this.

Do please leave your most cerebrally challenging comments in the box below.  


  1. OK OK I'll eat the damm cereal! What do I care?! Let it hang...
    Idiot and self-aggrandising deluded moron, I'm not.
    Though I'm not very sure about the etymology of idiot but won't even ask about it.
    No Sir.
    I'm ok with not knowing the origins of what I am not... most of the times I'm ok without knowing the origins of what I am.
    And they only found the word for this on the 19th? Sorry I asked... And do get over with it. You're freaking me out. Pass the Muesli XD

    1. Being cerebrally inclined (d'you see how pretentious that sounds?), I looked up the etymology of idiot and it's (kind of) interesting - it ultimately stems from Greek for someone that did not have a professional skill. It also meant someone that only cared for private affairs, rather than being involved in public matters. Not that today's word was 'idiot', of course - it was cerebral, in all its cleverer than thou, patronising glory.

    2. And here I was thinking that being an idiot could ONLY be a professional skill... (even) mastered by a few.
      Oh and we do have some involved in public matters - we call them governm.... something ;)

  2. There are different types of cerebral palsy and one of them is Athetoid CP. A child who suffers from this particular disorder can be extremely intelligent than even other normal children

  3. cerebral palsy treatment can be complex, addressing a wide range of individual symptoms and conditions.