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Word and Phrase Origins
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Where did the word 'idiot' come from?


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November 01, 2007 8:00PM

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it is from the Middle English, ignorant person, from Old French idiote, from Latin idiōta, from Greek idiōtēs, private person, layman, from idios, own, private.

"idiot." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 01 Nov. 2007.>.