The absent-minded professor is a stock character of popular fiction, usually portrayed as a talented academic whose focus on academic matters leads them to ignore or forget their surroundings.
The phrase "absent-minded professor" is also commonly used more generally in English to describe people who are so engrossed in their 'own world' that they fail to keep track of their surroundings. It is a common stereotype that professors get so obsessed with their research that they pay little attention to anything else.
The stereotype is very old: the ancient Greek biographer Diogenes Laërtius wrote that the philosopher Thales walked at night with his eyes focused on the heavens and, as a result, fell down a well.
Other articles related to "professor":
... Examples in film of absent-minded professors include "Doc" Emmett Brown from Back to the Future, the title character in the film The Absent-Minded Professor and its less successful ... Taylor, as well as Professor Farnsworth of Futurama and Professor Frink in The Simpsons ... Professor Kokintz in The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley is an example from literature, while Professor Branestawm, created in the 1930s by Norman Hunter is an earlier archetype ...
Famous quotes containing the word professor:
“Indeed, there is hardly the professor in our colleges, who, if he has mastered the difficulties of the language, has proportionally mastered the difficulties of the language, has proportionally mastered the difficulties of the wit and poetry of a Greek poet, and has any sympathy to impart to the alert and heroic reader.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)