• synonyms

upper story

The head or brain, as in He's not all there in the upper story. This expression transfers the literal sense of a higher floor in a multistory building to the top portion of the human body. Richard Bentley used it in A Dissertation on the Epistles of Phalaris (1699), where he compares a man with “brains ... in his head” to a man who has “furniture in his upper story.”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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Examples from the Web for upper story

Historical Examples

  • From the upper-story windows, where he had climbed, he could see to the edge of the forest.


    Robert W. Chambers

  • Still he was a pleasant giant (particularly to the upper-story boy), and welcome to the whole company.

    The Art of Amusing

    Frank Bellew

  • How I reached the upper-story, I know not; but, on waking late in the day, I found my pocket-book was absent—without leave.

  • The "Diggers" retaliated mildly by styling their upper-story neighbors, "Camanches."

  • From an upper-story window, without a sash, the figure of Tom leans out in an inquisitive attitude.