dunderhead vs hammerhead what difference

what is difference between dunderhead and hammerhead



dunder +‎ head


dunderhead (plural dunderheads)

  1. (somewhat dated) A stupid person; a dunce.
    • 1883, Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, ch. 6:
      You’re the stupidest dunderhead I ever saw or ever heard of, so help me Moses!
    • 1915, Basil King, The Side Of The Angels, ch. 3:
      Poor old fellow’s a dunderhead. That’s where it is in a nutshell. Never could make a living. . . . Nice old chap as ever lived. Only impractical, dreamy. Gentle as a sheep—and no more capable of running that big, expensive plant than a motherly old ewe.
    • 2004 May 23, Maureen Dowd, “Bay of Goats,” New York Times (retrieved 29 Nov 2017):
      Cheney & Company swooned over Mr. Chalabi because he was telling them what they wanted to hear. . . . A half-dozen dunderheads who thought they knew everything assumed they could control Mr. Chalabi and use him as the instrument of their utopian fantasies.

Alternative forms

  • dinderhead (Southwestern England)


  • See also Thesaurus:fool

Derived terms

  • dunderheaded




hammer +‎ head



hammerhead (plural hammerheads)

  1. The portion of a hammer containing the metal striking face (also including the claw or peen if so equipped).
  2. (zoology) Any of various sharks of the genera Sphyrna or Zygaena having the eyes set on projections from the sides of the head, which gives it a hammer shape.
  3. (zoology) A fresh-water fish; the hogsucker, Hypentelium nigricans, in the sucker family Catostomidae.
  4. (zoology) An African fruit bat, the hammer-headed fruit bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus, so called from its large blunt nozzle.
  5. (slang) A stupid person, a dunce.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter V:
      [The butler] joined us with a telegram for Bobbie on a salver. From her mother, I presumed, calling me some name which she had forgotten to insert in previous communications. Or, of course, possibly expressing once more her conviction that I was a guffin, which, I thought, having had time to ponder over it, would be something in the nature of a bohunkus or a hammerhead.
  6. A turn-around; a parking area constructed in a subdivision for initial access and construction.
  7. (biology) A kind of ribozyme; hammerhead ribozyme.


  • (shark): hammerhead shark, hammer fish, balance fish


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