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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"nerdy intellectual," by 1986, U.S. teenager slang, from the character Poindexter, introduced 1959 in the made-for-TV cartoon version of "Felix the Cat."


n. (alternative form of Poindexter English)

Usage examples of "poindexter".

Admiral John Poindexter, the calm, pipe-smoking national security adviser, explained now to the participants that earlier in the year, on January 17, 1986, the president had signed a formal top-secret intelligence directive.

A former Marine and veteran of three cabinet posts in the Nixon administration, Shultz, now 66, had warned Poindexter and Reagan for months that arms sales to Iran would be unwise, wrong and illegal.

As far as Shultz was concerned, Poindexter and Casey had set up their own foreign policy, one based on secret deals and operations.

Bush proposed a meeting with all the principal players to lay the disputes on the table, find out what was upsetting Shultz and Poindexter and above all stop the internecine warfare.

Bud McFarlane, the national security adviser prior to Poindexter, had called him in November 1985 describing the shipment of U.

He had interviewed North, who had confirmed the diversion of funds, and Poindexter had confirmed his knowledge of it.

The giant unknown was the anticipated testimony before Congress of Poindexter and North.

Poindexter sat right across from the president, their knees almost touching, and Poindexter whispered.

He would try to make cases against North and Poindexter, and then see what developed.

His preoccupation became North and Poindexter, the operational officers.

It would undermine the prosecution if Poindexter and North could claim presidential authority for their actions.

They did not know what North or Poindexter would say, but the two almost certainly would be forced to testify before Congress soon under grants of immunity.

One solution, he proposed, was that President Reagan grant a pardon to Poindexter, who could then testify truthfully.

He suggested that the testimony would be painful for Reagan but hinted that Poindexter would not implicate the president on the diversion.

Presumably pardons would silence Poindexter and North, perhaps forever.