Anything Obscure & Eclectic
Poindexter

Poindexter

BEING SIMULTANEOUSLY AN INSULT AND, FOR THE STUDENT OF LANGUAGES, ONE BAD-ASS M’F’ING NAME, ABUSED BY THE ANNALS OF POP CULTURE

n. — an overly diligent student, nerd, smarty-pants; esp. one lacking in social skills

fm. a name, originating as a supporting character in the Felix the Cat television series of the late ’50s. Apparently, the character was named after the show creator’s attorney, Emmett Poindexter. The surname itself is an [anglicization] of the [Old] French poing destre, meaning the very unnerdy “right fist.”

Destre comes from the same root by which we get “dexterous,” meaning deft, able, capable…All right, I hear it. In defending unnerdiness, The AOE sounds downright nerdy.

Famous Poindexters
an incomplete compendium

  • Ohio-based abolitionist James Preston Poindexter (1819–1907), credited at his death as being the second-longest serving advocate for African-American rights, after Booker T. Washington
  • Bacteriologist Hildrus Augustus “Gus” Poindexter (1901–1987), famous for his work on tropical diseases and author of an autobiography that confronts the racial prejudice he faced as a black man in science
  • Chester Jennings Poindexter (1910–1983), southpaw pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, career record 0–2 with a 4.83 ERA
  • Admiral John Marian Poindexter (b. 1936), the fourteenth National Security Advisor, who was convicted in April 1990 of multiple felonies for his actions related to Iran-Contra, convictions reversed on appeal in 1991
  • Astronaut Alan Goodwin “Dex” Poindexter (1961–2012), son of John Marian and a member of Space Shuttle missions STS-122 (Atlantis, supplying the International Space Station) and STS-131 (Discovery, supplying the International Space Station)
  • And, of course, a certain fictional character from a beloved 1980s comedy…

first published. 1981, pre-dating the Revenge of the Nerds character played by Timothy Busfield by three years.

inspiration. The Oxford English Dictionary and, really, this author’s striking resemblance to the cartoon character

Poindexter

This entry was published on 24 February 2017 at 9:00 am. It’s filed under P and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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