not playing with a full deck

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English[edit]

Phrase[edit]

not playing with a full deck

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly pejorative, colloquial) (chiefly US, Canada) (of a person) Not acting completely sanely, or mildly mentally retarded or diminished.
    • 1987 April, Barbara Ehrenreich, “The Unfastened Head of State”, Mother Jones, volume 12, number 3, page 10: 
      Someday our grandchildren will look up at us and say, "Where were you, Grandma, and what were you doing when you first realized that President Reagan was, er, not playing with a full deck?"
    • 2008, Ellen Cooney, Lambrusco, page 152:
      ... when it came to mental capabilities. In America you called someone like that retarded. Or you said, he's not playing with a full deck, like a deck of cards.