2

Can someone help me to identify some English synonyms/idioms meaning to "wonder so hard"? The word or phrase I'm looking for could be used in a situation where somebody tries to solve a very confusing riddle or is unable to manage what is going on.

I thought one example might be "breaking [somebody's] head open" (like in other languages: "den Kopf zerbrechen" or "rompersi la testa"), but I realized that the English meaning is literal in that case.

4

Here are some ideas for you.

I had to really scratch my head about that one.

I was completely lost in that lecture. For the life of me, I could not figure out what the heck the professor was talking about.

I had to wrack my brain to solve that riddle.

2

A word like ponder or ruminate would be synonyms, but neither has the intensity I think you're looking for. There's an idiom, "crack one's brains," or "rack one's brains," that might work. I personally use a phrase that involves smoke coming out of my ears.

P.S. "Wrack one's brains" is often used; according to Grammarist rack is correct.

  • +1 for the (w)rack one's brains! According to ODO both are correct when used figuratively. – Lucky Jul 25 '15 at 0:21
1

I've ruminated over the problem for months.

The problem is driving me crazy.

The problem is puzzling me.

I'm cogitating about the problem.

I'm still mulling over it.

0

Mind-blowing

Dictionary.com: overwhelming; astounding: Spending a week in the jungle was a mind-blowing experience.

Cambridge: surprising, shocking, and often difficult to understand or imagine: The movie’s special effects are mind-blowing.

Oxford: Overwhelmingly impressive: For a kid, Chicago was really mind-blowing.

Mind-boggling

Dictionary.com: intellectually overwhelming: a mind-boggling puzzle

Macmillan: very large, unusual, or complicated and not easy to imagine: athletes who earn a mind-boggling amount of money

Cambridge: extremely surprising and difficult to understand or imagine: She was paid the mind-boggling sum of ten million dollars for that film.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.