BACKGROUND : Stiff neck or nuchal rigidity is a significant clinical sign of neurologic disease. It is commonly associated with meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and posterior fossa tumors. It may also occur as a result of tonsillar impaction following pressure in the infratentorial compartment from an expanding posterior fossa mass. It is, however, not commonly known to be associated with uncal herniation. METHODS : We report a recent experience on this association. CONCLUSIONS : In the presence of stiff neck or nuchal rigidity in a patient with clinical signs of uncal herniation from a temporal arachnoid cyst, this unusual association could possibly be owing to the effect of increased pressure in the posterior fossa from massive shift of brain tissue posteriorly following a rapid rise in middle cranial fossa pressure consequent on an acute enlargement of the cyst. A false impression of acute meningeal irritation in such a situation could be quite misleading, resulting in late diagnosis and subsequently a delay in timely intervention.