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13 / 05 / 2008

THICK-1: meaning and examples

Good morning.

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend.

This week we have created three Daily Vitamins about the word thick, based on a question we received from Vanessa Boasch:

Hi Mr Ray! I've been "attending" your classes for the last two years and they are very interesting. I'm just writing you because the other day the expression "estar espeso" came to my head and I didn't know how to say it in English (in the sense that your head is full of things and you are not able to do others... do you know what I mean?). Thanks for your attention and I'm waiting for your answer. Vanessa

In informal, colloquial English, we sometimes use the word thick (espeso) to describe a person who is slow to learn or understand things. Some synonyms are densebone-headed or slow.

Example 1:
I can't believe you didn't pass Professor McGonagall's exam. It was very easy. Are you thick or what?

We often emphasise the severity of the thickness, with comparisons:

He's as thick as two short planks.
I'm feeling as thick as a brick today.

If you have a thick head, it's a condition in which you cannot think clearly as a result of an illness, drinking too much or being overly tired. I think this meaning is closest to what Vanessa was referring too.

Tomorrow and Thursday we will look at some other uses and meanings of the word thick.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please use the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (

Have a good day.