The term, or phrase, no brainer has its origins in the United States and was recognized for the first time in December 1959. Found in a cartoon by Carl Grubert in the Long Beach Independent, the cartoon used the words no brainer to describe someone’s perception of the simplicity of Gin ( a card game). Apparently, the cartoonist believed Gin to be a game in which little or no brain effort was needed. Since then, this phrase has been impossibly perpetuated and is more popular than ever today.
Whether this is good news or not, the meaning brings several notions and images to mind. It would imply that a no brainer is something (a skill, idea or habit), that everyone who has even the least little bit of common sense or intelligence should be able to understand, accomplish or know. But, in further analysis, Grubert’s cartoon could indicate that the character who refers to Gin as a no brainer is being sarcastic and arrogant in his efforts to diminish the value and aptitude needed to play it. Perhaps he, himself, cannot play Gin (or any other card game), and therefore is attempting to demean anyone who wishes to play it in his own effort to not look ignorant.
Very late one evening on a cable network, a commercial was advertising a piece of stretch material that, if worn, would make the recipient of this product look slimmer. The product had the same dimensions as a girdle and could be easily worn under clothing. The effect would be that the individual could wear smaller size clothing and look slimmer in the process. The product also touted the fact that if the individual wore it at night, they would wake up the next morning with a slimmer torso.
The advertiser explaining the wonderful effects of this product was quick to mention that understanding and appreciating the attributes of this product was a no brainer. In other words, this concept was so easy that anyone would know and understand it. So all of the busy people watching this commercial who don’t have time to exercise or eat healthy foods would benefit immediately from the purchase of this product without the least bit of effort on their part.
This phrase is being used more and more to explain, sell and promote things in a materialistic and secular society that wishes for, dreams of and even wants to live a “no brainer life” in which everything is quickly and decisively understood without little forethought, comparison and most importantly, effort involved.