- a stupid, bumbling, inept person.
Origin of knucklehead
Examples from the Web for knucklehead
To cops, Greene appears to be living proof that going to Harvard does not necessarily make you any less a knucklehead.NY Couple Not Terrorists, Say Cops, Just Rich Kids With Drug Habits
Michael Daly, Lizzie Crocker
January 1, 2013
As a hiker, I thought Strayed was a knucklehead—but a likable one.Book Bag: Timothy Egan’s Five Favorite Travel Books
October 23, 2012
- informal fool; idiot
Word Origin and History for knucklehead
"That infernal knuckle-head at the camp ought to have reported before now," he thought to himself, as he smoked. [Charles H. Shinn, "The Quicksands of Toro," in "Belford's Magazine," vol. V, June-November 1890, New York]
From 1869 as the name of a part in a type of mechanical coupling device. Popularized in the "stupid person" sense from 1942, from character R.F. Knucklehead, star of "Don't" posters hung up at U.S. Army Air Force training fields.
Everything Knucklehead does is wrong and ends in disaster. He endures one spectacular crash after another so that the students at the Gulf Coast Air Force Training Center may profit by his mistakes, and it looks now as if there will be no let-up in his agony. ["Life," May 25, 1942]