Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nicer Ways to Say "Stupid"


Most of us don't often think of the dictionary as a source of fun and entertainment, but Merriam-Webster is doing its best to make us more literate and have fun doing it.

As far as I can tell, it began in earnest when Merriam-Webster began trolling Donald Trump and his minions on Twitter for their gross abuse and imprecision of language, as when it noted after Kellyanne Conway's coining of the term "alternative facts" that, "In contemporary use, fact is understood to refer to something with actual existence."

The dictionary's Twitter account now has nearly half a million followers ... not bad for dusty reference book.

Here's a recent fun article from Merriam-Webster: 8 Nicer Ways to Say 'Stupid.' Are you running out of socially-acceptable ways to describe some people in government, politics, or entertainment? The article gives you eight new ways to let people know what you think; these two are my favorites:

Addlepated - defined as, "stupid and confused, mixed up, or eccentric." It derives from two root words, pate ("head") and adela ("filthy or foul-smelling") ... an addled egg is one that is rotten or putrid. I consider myself to be proudly eccentric for any number of reasons, but not addlepated ... at least, not all the time.

Nescient - defined as, "exhibiting or characterized by nescience: ignorant, agnostic." The root word of this wonderful term is the Latin verb scire ("to know"), which is also the root of the term omniscient (“having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight”) ... nescient, thus, means the polar opposite - "lacking in knowledge and awareness." Much like the Trump administration and its blind followers.

There are also lots of comparative expressions to indicate various levels of stupidity, such as dumb as a post and dumb as a box of rocks. The German language also has some nice words and phrases, including the well-known Dummkopf ("dumbhead"). And, of course, I keep finding it necessary to hone and expand my system for the National Stupidity Index - the DUMBCON - the most recent update of which can be found here.

Here's today's question, Dear Readers: what is your favorite, suitable-for-use-in-mixed-company word or expression - in any language - to describe someone or something as "stupid?" Leave a comment and let us all share the fruits of your vocabulary.

Have a good day. Don't let the nescient, addlepated buffoons get you down.

More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

5 comments:

Mike said...

How about pinhead?

Chuck Bear said...

Addlepated is so good real stupids wouldn't get that they were insulted.

allenwoodhaven said...

You picked great words. I'd not heard nescient; glad to know a new one!

For plural use, I've long liked "idiots and philistines"

Leroy said...

Plain stooopid csn also suffice.

allenwoodhaven said...

I forgot to mention "what a maroon!" said like Bugs Bunny.