little skulls [not 'a little skull']

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
How come the 'skulls' is not in the singular in this? You only have one skull ....

My head was so big that little Indian skulls orbited around it. Some of the kids called me Orbit. And other kids just called me Globe. The bullies would pick me up, spin me in circles, put their fingers down on my skull, and say, "I want to go there."

('The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie)​
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is a metaphor. The expression means that his head was as big as a planet with a number of moons in orbit around it, like Jupiter.
    The heads of normal Indian children were so small by comparison that they were like the little orbiting moons.
    All this is an exaggerated way of saying that his head was exceptionally large.

    Terminology alert: according to Wikipedia,
    Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. (born October 7, 1966) is a poet, writer, and filmmaker. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a Native American with ancestry of several tribes, growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation.
    Apparently he is happy with the term 'Indian', even if others are not. From the image on the page, it appears that he has lost some if not all of his acromegaly.
     
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    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Ah, I see. So Sherman is pointing to his Indian friends orbiting around it (= being around him). Am I right?
     
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