Brainfart

Brainfart

Brainfart (or brain fart) is a neologistic expression denoting a degree of mental laxity, colourfully clothed in neuroflatulent metaphor. The term is typically employed in the United States to indicate a regrettable and poorly thought out choice of action, as in the case of the American teen pregnancy pact, the ill-fated 2003 deblondification of Britney Spears, and in a speech by retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, the Second Iraq War. According to vaunted Philadelphia Flyers defenceman and amateur linguist Denis Gauthier—whose seminal association with the phenomenon has earned him the honorific sobriquet "Mr. Brainfart"—a brainfart occurs when one "momentarily loses his sense of logic…and does something "dumb." A further clarification comes from investigative journalist Louie Pierson, who proffers that while accidents are preventable, "brain farts are unpredictable, unpreventable and universal", and advances the theory that Mother Nature had "added the unfathomable minor irritant of the brain fart as a failsafe backup. The term may also be used to inelegantly refer to a situation in which one speaks out of turn. Lexicologists demur, preferring the definition of "losing one's train of thought".On the perilous question of etymology, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English suspects that the term is a jocular derivation from "brainstorm".

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Further reading

  • Green, Jonathon (2005). Cassell's Dictionary of Slang. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

References

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