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Eight Ways to Say “Stupid”

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“I know words, I have the best words. I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid.”

 

Actually, there is. Here are eight other ways to say stupid.

 

 

Anserine adj. means stupid or silly. 

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

 

 

Cretinize adj. means 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.”

 

 

Blinkard adj. means a stupid, slow-witted, or obtuse person.

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

 

 

Ignoration adj. means complete or utter ignorance.

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

 

 

Dunderheaded adj. meaning being a dunderhead.

What is a dunder, and why do we use this word to insult people in a somewhat mild fashion? Alas, this is but one more unknowable in a long line of things that etymology has not yet figured out. It may come from the Dutch word for “thunder” (donder), but no one is sure about that. 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 includes the 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.

 

 

Addlepated adj. meaning stupid and confused, mixed up, or eccentric.

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

 

 

Nescient adj. meaning exhibiting or characterized by nescience: ignorant, agnostic.

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

 

 

Bêtise adj. meaning an act of foolishness or stupidity.

Bêtise came to English from the French word bête, which has the meaning in that language of "idiot," or, more literally, "beast" (the literal meaning of bête is the one found in the term bête noire). In addition to an act of stupidity, bêtise may refer to stupidity or ignorance in general.

 

Source: Merriam-Webster.com 


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