Classic Usage: At the Try Pots Inn Queequeg and Ishmael are served up bowl after bowl of mouth-watering chowder. It causes Ishmael to ask himself “if this here has any effect on the head? What’s that stultifying saying about chowder-headed people?”
Classically Mad Usage: I’m not sure what the exact saying was that Ishmael was trying to put his finger on when he decided to use it instead to lick clean the bottom of his chowder bowl, but “chowderhead” is, and has been slang for a stupid person since the early 19th century. So, even if I can’t figure out how to work stultifying into my everyday vocabulary, this classic insult should be able to find its place.