We have a word tiomny in Russian which has the meanings blind, dim, and dumb. Is there a word (possibly slang) in American English which is as close in meaning to both blind and slow on the uptake?

closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, MetaEd, RegDwigнt Dec 9 '12 at 16:34

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  • I'm going to closevote as Not Constructive. There are any number of words that have more or less the required meaning, and it seems utterly pointless to look for one (or more) that just happen to include all three of OP's metaphorical allusions, as opposed to other figuratively-referenced attributes (such as dense, thick, slow, etc.). – FumbleFingers Dec 8 '12 at 18:36
  • I don't see any reason to close my question. May you please provide me with the words with the required meaning instead?! I really need it! I don't think that the words like "dense", "thick" or "slow" have any close relation to "blind". These words seem to me rather like synonyms for "idiot", "dolt" or something. I do need word that renders "blind" in a sense of "inability to see further than the end of nose". – ezpresso Dec 8 '12 at 19:43
  • @ezpresso: I think "slow on the uptake" is exactly what we would say in English to intimate all of those qualities. Did you want something else because you thought "SOTU" wasn't what you needed? – tylerharms Dec 8 '12 at 21:11
  • @ezpresso: You say "tiomny" has the meanings blind, dim, dumb. I don't know Russian, so I don't know if maybe you're just citing those particular words because in English they're commonly used metaphorically in respect of people with below-average intellects or powers of observation. Or perhaps that's not important to you, I don't know. But I now see from your comment to tchrist that you apparently also like the idea of words which connote wilful refusal to understand, as opposed to (or in addition to?) simply lacking the mental capacity. It's all just too vague for me. – FumbleFingers Dec 8 '12 at 21:44
  • @tylerharms, Well, I would like something that is way more short and with more sense of irony. – ezpresso Dec 8 '12 at 21:46

The only thing that comes slightly to mind might be a reference to the old cartoon character, Mr. Magoo.

Mr Magoo shot from WP

Otherwise, you will have to resort to some more general term for someone who is um, “subclueful”. Such terms are almost infinite in number, for many are coined daily to supplement those that come down to us from Shakespeare and before.

Since you’ve asked for slang, I can give you a starting list. Including both nouns and adjectives, and ranging from fairly fanciful to unspeakably vulgar, such a list might include words such as:

airhead, ass, asshole, asswipe, astigmatic, babe, barbarian, bastard, batarded, bear, birdbrain, bitch, blind, blindakins, blind ass, blindered, blockhead, bonehead, boob, bore, brute, buffoon, cad, careless, child, chump, churl, clod, clodpate, clown, credulous, cretin, dick, dickhead, dickwad, dickweek, dillrod, dillweed, dimwit, dipshit, dodo, dolt, doof, doofus, dookie, dope, dork, douche, douchebag, dufus, dumb, dumbass, dumbbell, dumbfuck, dumb ox, dumdum, dummy, dunce, dunderhead, dupe, dweeb, easy mark, fag, fair game, fathead, fool, foolish, fuckhead, fucktard, geek, goon, goose, greenhorn, gull, gullible, halfsighted, halfwit, headlong, idiot, ignoramus, ill-advised, ill-considered, illiterate, imbecile, imperceptive, impolitic, impractical, improvident, imprudent, ingénue, ingenuous, injudicious, innocent, jackass, jerk, lamebrain, lightweight, loon, loser, lout, lunkhead, meathead, moron, Mr Magoo, myopic, naïf, naïve, nearsighted, nerd, nimrod, nincompoop, ninny, nitwit, noob, numbnuts, numskull, oaf, peasant, philistine, presbyopic, prick, rash, retard, retarded, rube, sap, schlemiel, schmuck, shithead, shortsighted, silly, simple soul, simpleton, spaz, stooge, stupid, sucker, tard, tarded, tool, trusting soul, turkey, twerp, twit, twitterpated, unsagacious, unwary, victim, vulgarian, yoyo.

There is also a lot of variation in whether some of those compounds are written with or without spaces, or with or without hyphens.

Be warned that these vary in register from the recondite to the extremely coarse, and in contemporaneity from the outdated to the extremely recent, with plenty of nonce words to boot. So I would never recommend any of them to a non-native speaker without knowing a great deal more about the exact context in which they planned to use them. Otherwise you could very easily get yourself into extremely hot water.

For that matter, even Mr. Magoo is a cultural reference many will not get, and is quite possible offensive to blind people.

This is treacherous ice you’re trying to walk on here. Be very careful. Whatever you do, check with more than one native speaker to verify your choice.

  • I know your list is composed of nouns, whereas OP seems to be asking for an adjective, but I do think it's striking that none of the first three figurative usages that occurred to me (dense, thick, slow, as opposed to OP's blind, dim, dumb) contribute to any of the entries in your (non-exhaustive!) list. It just goes to show Anglophones can be very creative when we want to disparage someone's mental ability/agility/acuity! – FumbleFingers Dec 8 '12 at 18:43
  • Thanks! Mr. Magoo is very close to what I am really searching for. I like that "blind" (in a case of Mr. Magoo) is used in a sense of "stubborn refusal to admit the problem" (as stated in a Wikipedia article). – ezpresso Dec 8 '12 at 19:30
  • We're not worthy! Your list is beyond awesome, tchrist, but I take exception to the "shithead" entry. It doesn't really fill the bill. "shit-for-brains", on the other hand, would be more suitable. ;-) – Kristina Lopez Dec 8 '12 at 19:54

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