Idiot/village idiot

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Feb 7 23:15:32 UTC 2008

My AHD4 as well as Wikipedia define idiot in terms of a lack of
intelligence, and neither one of them define what a village idiot is.

My understanding of village idiot (formed probably in childhood by
Christopher's (Youd's) _The White Mountains_, though, is that people with a
host of mental issues including insanity and autism would qualify in
addition to people with mental retardation.

Can anyone confirm this broader meaning of village idiot and perhaps
even provide other examples from literature?

Benjamin Barrett
a cyberbreath for language life

The American Dialect Society -

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