Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - UP FRONT -

De­pend­ing on who you ask, all of us are id­iots at some point in our lives. The term “id­iot” is a catch-all word to de­scribe some­one con­sid­ered to be of low in­tel­li­gence or who has done some­thing stupid. There are plenty of peo­ple out there who would clas­sify some of the world’s most pow­er­ful politi­cians as id­iots. But “id­iots” was orig­i­nally quite a spe­cific term. In An­cient Greece, an “id­iotes” was a pri­vate per­son and played no part in public life. The word came from “id­ios”, mean­ing per­sonal, and later evolved in French to mean un­e­d­u­cated. It even­tu­ally took on its cur­rent mean­ing in English in the 17th cen­tury.

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