pinhead

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

pin + head.

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

pinhead (plural pinheads)

  1. The head of a pin. (Frequently used in size comparisons.)
    • 1810, Thomas Thomson, A System of Chemistry, Vol. 4, Bell & Bradfute, page 602:
      The moment the nitre was red hot, the coal, previously reduced to small pieces of the size of a pinhead, was projected in portions of one or two grains at a time…
  2. (slang) An ignorant, naïve, foolish, or stupid person.
    • 1998, J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, page 212:
      Percy, who hadn't noticed that Fred had bewitched his prefect badge so that it now read "Pinhead," kept asking them all what they were sniggering at.
  3. (slang) A telemark skier.
  4. (slang, medicine) A human head that is unusually tapered or small, often due to microcephaly, or a person with that trait. Often promoted in freak shows as "human pinheads".
    • 1939, Amram Scheinfeld and Morton David Schweitzer, You and Heredity, Frederick A. Stokes Co., page 155:
      The microcephalic idiot is an unfortunate with a "pinhead," sometimes exhibited as a "what's-it" in circus side-shows, whose mental age never goes beyond that of an imbecile.
    • 1943, Oliver Ramsay Pilat, Sodom by the Sea: An Affectionate History of Coney Island, Garden City Publishing, page 187:
      Zip the What-Is-It was simply a Negro idiot. [] For half an hour at a time, David Belasco used to watch Zip at Coney Island. The producer insisted he saw signs of intelligence in the pinhead []
  5. (slang, pet stores) A newborn cricket used as food for pets.
    • 1994, Raymond E. Hunziker, Leopard Geckos, Publisher, ISBN 079380258X, page 16:
      A newly hatched gecko will need pretty small crickets, but you will not have to go all the way down to pinheads.
    • 2000, Manny Rubio, Scorpions: Everything About Purchase, Care, Feeding, and Housing, Barron's Educational Series, ISBN 0764112244, page 70:
      Crickets can be purchased in many sizes from newborns ("pinheads") to adults.

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