dunce

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1530, eponymous, from John Duns Scotus (circa 1265–1308).[1]

Scotus was ironically a well-known Scottish thinker. His followers, however, opposed the philosophers of the Renaissance, and thus "dunce" was first used to describe someone rejecting new knowledge in 1530; later, any stupid person.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

dunce (plural dunces)

  1. One backward in book learning; a child or other person dull or weak in intellect; a dullard; a dolt.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 dunce”, Wordorigins.org, Dave Wilton, Sunday, June 11, 2006.