TRIVIAL PURSUITS: From Where Does the Term ‘Highbrow’ Come

Something or someone considered to be highly cultured or intellectual may be called “highbrow.”

From where did the term “highbrow” come?

The terms “highbrow” and “lowbrow” come from phrenology, the nineteenth-century science of regarding the shape of the skull as a key to intelligence. A “high” forehead meant intelligence; a “low” one—not so much.

However, this so-called “science” led to notable episodes of racism and prejudice.
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