Idiotism

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Idiotism An idiom; a form, mode of expression, or signification, peculiar to a language. "Scholars sometimes give terminations and idiotisms , suitable to their native language, unto words newly invented."
    • Idiotism Lack of knowledge or mental capacity; idiocy; foolishness. "Worse than mere ignorance or idiotism .""The running that adventure is the greatist idiotism ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The words moron, imbecile, and idiot are not interchangable. The one with the highest level of intelligence is a moron, followed, by an imbecile, and then idiot
    • n idiotism An idiom; a peculiarity of phrase; a current deviation or departure from the strict syntactical rules or usages of a language.
    • n idiotism A personal peculiarity of expression.
    • n idiotism Idiocy; the state of being an idiot.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A young criminal walked into a bank and quietly handed the teller a note demanding several thousand dollars. Disguised, the man could have easily gotten away. However, he had idiotically written the note on a piece of his own stationery; it included his full name and address.
    • n Idiotism the state of being an idiot
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Quotations

  • Steve Martin
    Steve Martin
    “I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    George%20Bernard%20Shaw
    “No man can be a pure specialist without being in the strict sense an idiot.”
  • Marquis De Sade
    Marquis%20De%20Sade
    “The majority of pop stars are complete idiots in every respect.”
  • Louis Aragon
    Louis Aragon
    “We know that the nature of genius is to provide idiots with ideas twenty years later.”
  • Horace Mann
    Horace%20Mann
    “If an idiot were to tell you the same story every day for a year, you would end by believing it.”
  • Anton Chekhov
    Anton Chekhov
    “Any idiot can face a crisis, it's the day to day living that wears you out.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. idiotisme, L. idiotismus, the way of fashion of a private person, the common or vulgar manner of speaking, Gr. , fr. to put into or use common language, fr. . See Idiot
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. idiotaidiōtēs, orig. a 'private man,' then a rude person—idios, one's own.

Usage

In literature:

The words were reported to me by my dear friend Thomas Poole; but I have since heard the same repeated of other idiots.
"The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth" by (Edited by William Knight)
The captain now called him an interfering, meddlesome idiot, and shook him violently while holding him in his grasp.
"Mr. Scarborough's Family" by Anthony Trollope
This idiot, as he was called, had shown intelligence in reckoning.
"Round the Block" by John Bell Bouton
The passers-by, who have their own way of appreciating clever people, used to say: He is an idiot.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
I behaved, indeed, like an idiot, for I should lose too much by cutting myself off from seeing you.
"Poor Relations" by Honore de Balzac
What an idiot I must have been!
"The American Baron" by James De Mille
He turned round hastily, his hands busy with the rope, and saw in the doorway the figure of Daft Jimmy, the Moorthorne idiot.
"Tales of the Five Towns" by Arnold Bennett
It exists only in the idiot.
"A Librarian's Open Shelf" by Arthur E. Bostwick
As for Captain Drayton and the Moving Fortress, nobody but a supreme idiot would have done what Nicky did.
"The Tree of Heaven" by May Sinclair
What a blooming idiot he was!
"Nedra" by George Barr McCutcheon
Could any one but a congenital idiot suppose we shouldn't fight?
"Mr. Britling Sees It Through" by H. G. Wells
They tried to fool me, the idiots!
"The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories" by Gertrude Atherton
Yvon always obeyed with an idiotic leer.
"The Infant's Skull" by Eugène Sue
This was the more idiotic as he was rather new to the country, to this actual section of it entirely so.
"In the Whirl of the Rising" by Bertram Mitford
Your idiotic, cowed look, your gaping mouth and grimaces are as many infallible remedies for love.
"Her Royal Highness Woman" by Max O'Rell
Perhaps after all it was idiotic to come to you.
"Mysterious Mr. Sabin" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Lunatics and idiots are prohibited from marrying.
"Marriage and Divorce Laws of the World" by Hyacinthe Ringrose
I've spent an idiotic day.
"Non-combatants and Others" by Rose Macaulay
One class of idiots is justly designated theroid, so brute-like are its members.
"Degeneracy" by Eugene S. Talbot
Broach could shoot good, but his horse was a plumb idiot when it came to firing.
"Curly" by Roger Pocock
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In poetry:

Let us relax, and rest a time
From our small thunder,
Even though idiots, wading slime,
Go under.
"Shouting Quiet" by Benjamin Musser
There is the smile of vacancy,
Expressionless, we find
On idiot physiognomy,
The vacuum of a mind.
"Smiles." by Alfred Castner King
And always the loud angry crowd,
Very angry and very loud,
Law is We,
And always the soft idiot softly Me.
"Law, Like Love" by W H Auden
The idiot could be beguiled
by picking blackberries,
but then threw them away.
The shrunken seamstress smiled.
"A Summer’s Dream" by Elizabeth Bishop
You must see--but you have seen--our old Faneuil Hall,
Our churches, our school-rooms, our sample-rooms, all;
And, perhaps, though the idiots must have their jokes,
You have found our good people much like other folks.
"Welcome To The Chicago Commercial Club" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans
Atop the broken universal clock:
The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.
Out painted stages fall apart by scenes
While all the actors halt in mortal shock:
The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans.
"Doomsday" by Sylvia Plath

In news:

But let's move beyond the "issue" itself, because the "issue" is verifiably idiotic.
' Idiotic Game Shows': Chuck Lorre's 'Bachelor' Diss Ignites Twitter War.
Is this America's most idiotic politician.
Putting the ID in idiotic idea.
Rep Todd Akin's notions of rape and conception are idiotic .
Mohammed Film Was Idiotic .
Name decision is ' idiotic '.
Boomer's cut Tebow comment ' idiotic '.
Tennessee's Idiotic Campaign Against 'Gateway Sex'.
Attack on Ann Romney latest ' idiotic statement'.
25 Idiotic Comments You Shouldn't Make During a Job Interview.
' Idiotic ' management of federal funds cost needy Detroit residents a chance at jobs.
Everyone knows trump is an idiot.
"American Idiot is a perfect blend of concert and musical," says sound designer Brian Ronan.
If millions love Monet and other millions love Kincaid, which group of millions is composed of idiots.
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In science:

It dawned on the grasshopper that although the individual ants were just boring little morons idiotically following rules, the nest as a whole was managing to find the closest leaves, bring them back along optimal routes, and feed them to its plantations of fungi.
Interplay between Network Topology and Dynamics in Neural Systems
To mix metaphors, it took a village to raise this lost idiot.
Single barium ion spectroscopy: light shifts, hyperfine structure, and progress on an optical frequency standard and atomic parity violation
However, I hope to demonstrate for you that this idea is not at all idiotic, and that it has many attractive features.
M Theory and Cosmology
Some writers feel the need to “idiot proof” a spreadsheet.
New Guidelines For Spreadsheets
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