Seen this in a few movies, spelling is probably incorrect. It appears to be an irish-american slang for an idiot in usage. Mostly interested in the correct spelling/actual word(s) and origin.

The usage I noticed this in recently was in 'The Equalizer (2014)', the quote's context is reproduced on this page (search for 'flipperhead' or scroll down).

This is the scene in question (warning; NSFW language). I'd swear i've heard the term before in the same context (movie american-irish people insulting people).

  • 1
    Never heard it. Maybe someone addicted to playing pinball machines?
    – Greg Lee
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 18:54
  • 1
    Sounds like something that would be dubbed over a real profanity to make it safe for television. Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 19:06
  • By way of corroborating Greg Lee's suggestion, a Google search turns up several instances where flipperhaad refers to a pinball game enthusiast. That doesn't appear to be related to the movie context cited by the OP, however.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 21:59
  • I've added a couple of links to the specific context, I like @KevinWorkman's suggestion that it might be a film-friendly insult that's metastasized and gotten out into the wild in modern movies where swearing is allowed. If that was an answer, i'd upvote it, since it certainly explains it's complete lack of presence anywhere else.
    – user2754
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 2:11

1 Answer 1


It's Bostonian. The concept comes from the thalidomide babies born with "flippers" for limbs in the late 50s. The idea is that instead of arms or legs it was your head and your brain that were stunted and came out as a flipper. It's a way to say you're a monumental, irretrievable, freakin' idiot.

  • 1
    Hello, user124338, and welcome to English Language & Usage. I've done a fair amount of research in various slang reference works and haven't found any entries for flipperhead. Can you add a definition from (and if possible a link to) a reputable source that corroborates your contention about the term's meaning and origin? Thanks!
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 7:02

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