Thursday, August 19, 2004

Idiot

...a mentally deficient person with intelligence in the lowest measurable range; a stupid person• word history: The development of pejorative senses of idiot occurred in ancient Greek, although the meaning "a mentally deficient person" is a more modern refinement. Greek idiotes, the source of idiot, is derived from idios, "private," and originally meant a private citizen in contrast to a public official. The use of idiotes was extended to other pairs of opposites such as layman/professional, layman/priest, common person/distinguished person, and unskilled worker/craftsman. A person of no special status, knowledge, or skill was idiotes, and the term became one of abuse.

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