Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Id’iot

 Id’iosyncrasy.I’dle Lake. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Id’iot
 
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, idio’ts.) (See BARON.)   1
 


 Id’iosyncrasy.I’dle Lake. 

 
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