If you’re feeling charitable (and credulous) at any given moment, you might imagine that people who spell “harebrained” as “hairbrained” today are simply employing this antiquated Scots spelling, perhaps even jonesing for some tasty haggis while they do so. But it’s far more likely that they’re laboring under the impression that the word implies that the “hairbrained” person has a head full of light, fluffy and useless hair where their brains should be. Given our culture’s obsession with hair, that’s entirely understandable, but it’s still off the mark. I suggest we stick with “harebrained,” even if in doing so we risk the wrath of hares.

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3 comments on this post.
  1. Louise Hope:

    “Mares mate in the spring”

    Let me guess. You got tired, and let the cat do your proofreading.

  2. admin:

    Hares, mares, whatever. Fixed it — thanks.

  3. lowrads:

    Actually, the term originated with Thomas Wright Hare, a member of the UK parliament. He is one of the first promoters of the concept of a “transferable vote.”

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