Saturday, September 11, 2010

History of Insults

Since I don't take them to heart, but instead have fun pointing out the history, finding this site -- that shares the history of insults was a fun experience.

What I find interesting is that most of the earlier insults were directed to intelligence instead of being insults directed at a person's character or looks.

A personal favorite:
I was delighted to see that nincompoop is the fertile mother of children, such as nincom (1800, simply a shortened form) and nincompoopery (1900). The latter is used to describe foolishness or stupidity. Sinclair Lewis says, for example, in Arrowsmith: "Were they, in their present condition of nincompoopery, worth any sort of attention?" I was delighted to see that nincompoopiana developed around 1880, though it was used as a name for a late 19th century aesthetic movement. The London Times explained this in 1970: "'Nincompoopiana' began in the 1880s and was triggered off by the aesthetic movement which rebelled against the pretty and the respectable, and by the 'new woman.'" Very very nice, isn't it? Finally, there is nincompoopish (1852) which means "characteristic of or resembling a nincompoop." And, why was it invented in 1852, in America no less? Possibly because this was the height of the "Know-Nothing" movement in American politics. From 1852: "It is perhaps the deepest misfortune which should befall mankind now, that for the ensuing Presidential term the rule of the United States should be in the hands of the nincompoopish or the imbecile."

I am emboldened by all of this to try to make up my own words. How about a nincompooper? You could imagine several things that such a person would do. Or nincompoopdom, as the place where they tend to congregate? The possibilities, though not endless, are multifarious.

2 comments:

Cyberseaer said...

Tell us the truth, you got bored, right? LOL

pchand29 said...

He said quote:

"All Christians and God worshipers are a bunch of lousy Dumbasses that are blinded by stupidity and blinded from reality"...
Nox Edge