Dead from the Neck Up

Meaning of Idiom ‘Dead from the Neck Up’

Someone who is dead from the neck up is extremely stupid; dull; dumb; very unintelligent. 1Jarvie, Gordon. [http://amzn.to/2uaI2lm Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms]. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms]. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt, 2013.

Examples of Use

“The president’s spokesperson is a horrible choice. He seems dead from the neck up.”

“I can’t believe he graduated from such a prestigious college. The guy’s dead from the neck up.”

Origin

Since the early 1900s, this idiom has alluded to being brain-dead, which refers to the cessation of higher brain functions even though a person’s body still functions on a basic level. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Jarvie, Gordon. [http://amzn.to/2uaI2lm Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms]. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.
2. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms]. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
3, 4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt, 2013.