The Origin of Stupidity

stupidity1540s, “want of intelligence,” from Latin stupiditas, from stupidus (see stupid). It also at various times meant “lack of feeling or emotion” (1560s); “stupor; numbness” (c.1600)

The word stupidity does not have very old roots.  It comes from around the year 1540, from the Latin word stupiditas meaning “want of intelligence”, which comes from stupidus meaning “stupid”.  In the 1560s, stupidity meant “lack of feeling or emotion” and in the 1600s it meant “stupor” or “numbness”.

People use the word stupidity when referring to an action or behavior that is not sensible.  Often, stupidity is used as a form of humor. Other times, examples of stupidity are used to teach lessons to others.  Observing and commenting on or mocking the stupidity of others is also a way that some people increase their self-esteem.  In all these cases, stupidity is useful, although it can be harmful.

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

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3 Comments

  1. I think you added your own ideas…. Do you agree with the definition? What strikes you as strange or different than you expected? Best use of the word?
    Rubric:
    gives some new information on the topic; informational post: has trouble with integrating read or learned information and mostly repeats without construction of new meaning; poorly organized
    post has little style or voice; words chosen show an attempt at bringing the content to life; sentence fluency is achieved in few places
    several spelling errors; several grammar errors; formatting makes post difficult to follow or read
    one piece of multimedia; multimedia does not add significantly to content or perspective; one or more links to obvious websites (Wikipedia, dictionary on line); post may be categorized or tagged
    a few information sources are cited accurately; uses citations for images improperly

    Reply
  1. Something Stupid | terry1954
  2. …vs. stupidity | Etymon

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