Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Have you ever been a DUNCE?

Hi. This post might be dangerous for some people's psyche so if you're not mentally strong enough, you'd better not read it :)


Do you remember your school days? Were you a very able and bright pupil or did you rather have difficulty learning things?

The word for today is

DUNCE

Before I explain what the word means, let me introduce the 13th century Scottish theologian John Duns Scotus. He actually gave birth to the word DUNCE (originally spelt DUNS) referring to a name given to John's followers. Later in the 16th century those guys were ridiculed by the then contemporary humanists and reformers. This is the time when the word 'dunce' got its pejorative and now offensive connotations.

So, the word 'dunce' can be translated into Polish as nieuk, ciemięga, hebes, tuman.  The following words can be treated as synonyms of 'dunce', i.e. dullard (cymbał, tępak, tuman), simpleton (prostaczek, głuptas, naiwniaczek), half-wit (półgłówek, pół-inteligent); or idiot (idiota).

As you see the word isn't a nice one and it is used in a disapproving way.

There's one more word that we can learn along with dunce, i.e.

DUNCE CAP

which is a tall paper hat with a pointed end (just like in the picture); in the past a child had to wear it in school for having made many mistakes in their work.

What sort of pupil/student were/are you?

  

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