meant originally a private person, one not engaged in any
public office. Hence Jeremy Taylor says, “Humility is a duty in great
ones, as well as in idiots” (private persons). The Greeks have the
expressions, “a priest or an idiot” (layman), “a poet or an idiot”
(prose-writer). As idiots were not employed in public offices, the
term became synonymous with incompetency to fulfil the duties thereof.
(Greek, idiotes.) (See Baron.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Idiot from Fact Monster:
- John Kendrick Bangs - Bangs, John Kendrick Bangs, John Kendrick, 1862–1922, American humorist, b. Yonkers, N.Y., ...
- mental retardation: History - History The treatment of mentally retarded people has always reflected the changes in society. They ...
- Al Franken - Al Franken comedian, writer Born: 5/21/1951 Birthplace: New York City Comedian and long-time cast ...
- Dame Rose Macaulay - Macaulay, Dame Rose Macaulay, Dame Rose , 1889?–1958, English author. Remembered primarily ...
- Weather: On Another Front - Weather On Another Front Weather On Another Front Mass Appeal Putting Up a Front Frontal Attack ...