Never been the brightest crayon in the box

< Previous | Next >

Yekaterina

New Member
Russian
Hi! Can you explain the meaning of the phrase Never been the brightest crayon in the box, which I think is an idiom.Here is a context

Terry who has been leaning over them to get a look, gyrates around his walking stick. What his mating dance lacks in accuracy it makes up for in energy and the other three look on in silence while he makes the noise of a boombox with his lips pressed together. Jimmy’s fingers stretch out towards the ground in embarrassment as he keeps his bad eye – the eye that he thinks of as his secret eye – on Elaine.
Yvonne stands stiff and still like a wary buffalo. ‘Never been the brightest crayon in the box’, she says and they all push past him, smiles held down. Jimmy looks back to see him finish in a bunny squat and a flick of his head.

It is not clear for me too whether the phrase is addressed to Terry or Yvonne herself. The abstract is from the story "The Whales" of modern English-Australian writer Evie Wild.Thank you in advance.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    It means "not too bright, not too intelligent." It's #22 in this list of Not too bright from "Amidst a tangled web."

    She is saying that of the person that they all push past, which sounds like Terry.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    There are numerous variations of this idiom (not the ___est ___ in the ____), which means that the person in question is not very intelligent. She is talking to Jimmy and Elaine, and referring to Terry.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top