This topic has come and gone through my wired mind for the last year, the most profound time of rumination on the subject was during my reading of Philip K. Dick’s autobiographical thesis: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011), early in the year. PKD was subject to persecution and some frightening situations in his lifetime (i.e. there was an incident where his office was rigged with explosives, etc.) – due to the commentary and ideas in his science fiction novels being interpreted as “dangerous” by the autocrats of that time.
Despite knowing the distaste around the word “egghead” – in using the word in my username, I sought to destigmatize the once shameful term. I have a character with an egg as a skull, so… why the heck not? Furthermore, PKD had claimed that the origin of the word “egghead” actually has origins in Nazi Germany, and was carried over after World War II and then used by high-authority, North American figures (such as Richard Nixon, a United States president) to disparage astute thinkers.
PKD claimed in an interview for his novel, “The Man in the High Castle”, that the German word eierkopf was the origin for the English word: egghead. Indicating that Americans have possibly been using a Nazi insult to decry intellectualism for many, many decades – the last derisive use of the word was in 2008, in an article titled “Broken Eggheads Make No Omelets.” Which is disturbing, seeing as the Sturmabteilung regime used to beat people until “their skulls cracked readily against the pavement” , and thus their heads were compared to the fragile shells of eggs.
Like other phrases used by oppressive groups who have murdered innocent people and that have committed other terrible atrocities in the past, I think words like egghead should be reclaimed, as well as pro-intellectual thinking. The stigma surrounding the word shouldn’t be used against “eggheads”, but the people who are willing to use something with such terrible implications as an insult.
Sources and Additional Reading on the Subject
1. Aaron Lecklider, Inventing the Egghead: The Battle over Brainpower in American Culture (2013).
3. ^ “Broken eggheads make no omelets”. Washington Times. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
More about the character Luna, the figure behind the “EggheadLuna” mythos: https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/06/27/luna/