heady stuff

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hly2004, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. hly2004 Banned

    Hi, everyone:

    As a woman in science, Blackburn has also served as mentor for a generation of researchers, including Greider, who now heads her own lab at Johns Hopkins. Heady stuff for a small-town girl who started out simply loving (and singing to) critters.

    I'm wondering if the red part means "It is an extremely exciting news for Blackburn to know about her student's heading her own lab"


    Best wishes
  2. mutodo23 New Member

    "heady stuff" is an idiom here meaning "intellectual". It is used here to describe subject matter that is above the normal or basic mental activities of a simple county girl.
  3. mutodo23 New Member

    I meant to say.... "simple country girl" Small town girls and country girls (characteristically or typically) lead simple, uncomplicated lives. For a country girl or small town girl to be a Scientific Mentor is "heady stuff" for a small town girl. In other words, she is intellectually superior to most average small town girls.
  4. hly2004 Banned

    I've got it, thank you, Mutodo23
  5. hanbaked Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Must be a difference in UK/USA english - From the use of the phrase heady stuff, I would understand this to mean that she has gone way beyond (i.e. higher) than she was 'destined' for, not specifically because of intellect.
  6. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    I agree with Hanbaked. I think "heady" here mans something close to "intoxicating," as in "the wine was heady," i.e., it went to my head. For a girl from such humble beginnings, to have attained such stature is slightly head-spinning.
  7. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    Heady stuff can be used to describe something that has a powerful effect on you or you senses and therefore makes you feel excited, euphoric, "intoxicated" and perhaps not knowing how to deal with it. "Reaching stardom all of a sudden can be heady stuff for an 18-year-old."
  8. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    Intoxicating is also the word I would use. The idea is that she is now (figuratively speaking) at such an unaccustomed height that she is intoxicated and made dizzy by the experience, as one would be by a rarified atmosphere.
  9. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    "Heady" does not mean "intellectual". As noted above, it is a reference to intoxicating beverages that "go to your head". By analogy, things that are "heady" give you the same intoxication, exhilaration, and slight disorientation that comes from drinking alcohol.

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