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8 Nicer Ways to Say 'Stupid' [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-11-4 13:01:41 |Display all floors
This post was edited by senoritazhao at 2017-11-4 13:21

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Definition: stupid, silly

Here we have a lovely example of a wordwhich began its life (in our language, at least) with a figurative meaning, andonly took on a literal one after more than a century of use. Anserine comesfrom the Latin anser, meaning "goose." The word is indeed used onoccasion to mean "resembling a goose," but the 'silly as a goose'sense preceded this by a considerable length of time.

I am not of such anserin stupidity, butthat I could make as ignominions at reorsion upon my adversary.

John Menzeis, Roma Mendax, 1675

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Post time 2017-11-4 13:02:50 |Display all floors
This post was edited by senoritazhao at 2017-11-4 13:24



Definition: to reduce to a condition of extreme stupidity

The word cretinize comes, rather obviously, from the older word cretin. This older word is most commonly used today in the sense of “a stupid, vulgar, or insensitive person,” although it initially meant “one affected with cretinism” (a genetic abnormality, and using cretin in this sense is now considered quite offensive). What is not so obvious about the etymology of cretinize is that a bit further in the word’s history we see that it comes from a French dialect word meaning “wretch, innocent victim,” which itself came from the Latin word christianus, meaning “Christian.”

Amis is a great admirer of John Updike, on whom he did a recent profile in the Observer. They discovered a common alarm about being interviewed. Being interviewed “rots a writer’s brain,” Updike told Amis, “It cretinizes you.”

Charles Champlin, The Los Angeles Times, 27 Sept. 1987

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Definition: a stupid, slow-witted, orobtuse person

The original meaning of blinkard was “onethat blinks with or as if with weak eyes,” which soon added the pejorativemeaning listed above. If you are a person who blinks often please accept ourapologies for the English language, which can on occasion be needlessly cruel.

Poore foolish Blinkard, Beads-man vntoChrist,

For restitution of long lacked sight,

I maruaile what they fancie so inticte,

To be desirous of this lothsome light?

Samuel Nicholson, Acolastus his After-witte, 1600

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Definition: complete or utter ignorance


Ignoration is not just a fancified word for"ignorance," but also refers specifically to "an act or actionof ignoring."

I haue compleyned before of the ignoranceof Greik, & Latine tounges, the Ignoration whereof, no doute, hes moued vsa great part of this busines, specialie hauing to do with men thatvnderstandeth not the proprietie of them.

George Hay, The Confutation of the Abbote of Crosraguels Masse,1563

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Post time 2017-11-4 13:27:23 |Display all floors


Definition: being a dunderhead

What is a dunder, and why do we use thisword to insult people in a somewhat mild fashion? Alas, this is but one moreunknowable in a long line of things that etymology has not yet figured out. Itmay come from the Dutch word for “thunder” (donder), but no one is sure aboutthat. What we are sure about is that there are a great number of words for“stupid” or “stupid person” ending in -headed or head. A partial list includesthe following: airhead, beefheaded, beetleheaded, blockhead, bonehead,bullhead, bubblehead, buffle-headed, butthead, chucklehead, deadhead, fathead,flathead, hammerhead, heavy-headed, idleheaded, ironhead, jolt-headed, jughead,knucklehead, loggerheaded, lunkhead, meathead, muddlehead, pinhead, pinheaded,ramhead, saphead, sheepheaded, sheepshead, thickhead, and wooden-headed.

Thus I pass away the time, and this lullsme on to drudge on the end of the Chapter with this Dunderheaded Master ofmine, who to my knowledge is more a Madman than a Knight.

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (anon. trans.), 1703

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Definition: stupid and confused, mixed up,or eccentric

The pate portion of addlepated comes froman older word for "head," in use since Middle English, and ofuncertain origin. The addle portion may be traced back to the Old English wordadela, meaning “filth, filthy or foul-smelling place.” As an adjective addlefirst had the meaning of “foul smelling and putrid” (specifically said of anegg), and later came to mean “confused or muddled.”

Those who belong to Madam Luna, as Hawkersof Almanacks and Pamphlets, Huntsmen, Ostridge-Catchers, Falkoners, Couriers,Salt-carriers, Lunaticks, Maggotty Fools, Crackbrain'd Coxcombs, Addle|patedFrantic Wights, Giddy Whimsical Foplings, Exchange-Brokers, Post-boys, Footboys,Tennis Court-keepers-Boys, Glassmongers, Light-horse, Watermen, Mariners,Messengers, Rakers and Glea|ners, will not long stay in a place this year.

François Rabelais, The Fifth Book of the Works of Francis Rabelis(trans. by P. M.), 1694

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Definition: exhibiting or characterized bynescience: ignorant, agnostic

Nescient, science, and omniscient (“havinginfinite awareness, understanding, and insight”) all share a root: each comesin part from the Latin word scire, meaning “to know.” Nescience, then, is"lack of knowledge or awareness."

True it is that he offends more hainously,that sins through knowledge, then he that slips through Ignorance: but we maynot therefore flie to Ignorance for an excuse: for 'tis one thing to be [H]nescient, ano|ther to be wilfully Ignorant.

Robert Dyer, The Christian's Theorico-Practicon, 1633

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