the elevator doesn't go (all the way) to the top floor

the elevator doesn't go (all the way) to the top floor

A pejorative phrase used to indicate that someone is not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets. I'm starting to think the elevator doesn't go to the top floor. She's one of the top students in the school. Her brother, on the other hand—well, let's just say that the elevator doesn't go all the way to the top.
See also: elevator, floor, go, to, top
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

elevator doesn't go to the top floor, the

Describing someone who is simple-minded, not very intelligent. The top floor in this slangy insult denotes the brain. One synonym is a few/two/three bricks shy of a load, indicating a person is short of intelligence. Another is not playing with a full deck, which refers to the card game of poker. Yet another is having only one oar in the water (or not having both oars in the water). All these slangy expressions date from the second half of the twentieth century. For example, “But now this new opportunity had presented itself, and . . . how could he really lose? Okay, she probably wasn’t playing with a full deck, but he didn’t figure her for any more gun wielding” (David Baldacci, Hour Game, 2004).
See also: elevator, go, to, top
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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