Where does the word “Chowderheaded” come from and What does Chowderheaded mean?

“Chowderheaded” is a curious bit of slang traceable back more than four hundred years, though, like much current slang, the earliest term cannot be explained.

Chowder here does not denote a stew; it’s just a mispronunciation of cholter, for cholter-headed was the form that began to appear in the early nineteenth century.

But that, which made no sense either, was a corruption of jolter-headed, used through the previous century, and, in turn, it was derived from the earliest form, jolthead.

Heaven knows the source of that, but it, too, meant a blockhead, a stupid or clumsy person.