I'm watching a lecture on behavioral biology on YouTube, and the lecturer uses this sentence in his speech:

"sometimes, what's going on in your head, will affect every single outpost in your body"

These are some definitions I found, but they are not really describing something like a part of someone's body:

  1. A place, especially a small group of buildings or a town, that represents the authority or business interests of a government or company that is far away: a police/military/colonial outpost.
    (Source: Cambridge dictionary)

  2. An isolated or remote branch of something, e.g.
    "the community is the last outpost of civilization in the far north".
    (Source: Oxford dictionary)

2 Answers 2


It's obviously a metaphorical use of outpost to refer to the extremities of the body.

  • 3
    I'd add that this is a poetic, non-idiomatic usage, not something a language learner would be expected to understand immediately. Only someone of near native-speaker command would realize that this is non-standard and so infer the metaphorical meaning from it. IMO, it's also a very poor metaphor because we don't think of the body's extremities as distant outposts, so maybe good on ya Static Bounce for not understanding it.
    – gotube
    Commented May 2, 2022 at 2:10

An outpost usually implies some form of presence in a location at the most basic level. Often times, it would be construed to be a presence in a small/distant/isolated location. If I asked people about what defines an outpost, words like isolated, remote, distant, far-away, overseas, basic, limited, backward, primitive, etc. could be expected.

The body's outposts would be the located around the body and some could be quite remote from the head, yet are affected by things happening in the head. (Unsurprising, given the brain is the home of cognition, the decypherer of incoming sensory data, and where higher level operations in the body are triggered, one can see how the brain, stored in the head, impacts the entire body...)

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