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#208295 - 12/11/12 11:17 AM nincompoop
barryrb Offline
stranger

Registered: 12/11/12
Posts: 1
Re: etymology, I was once told or read, perhaps in law school, that this was a corruption of the Latin phrase for mental defect or unsound mind, "non compos mentis."

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#208297 - 12/11/12 01:07 PM Re: nincompoop [Re: barryrb]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6039
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Originally Posted By: barryrb
Re: etymology, I was once told or read, perhaps in law school, that this was a corruption of the Latin phrase for mental defect or unsound mind, "non compos mentis."


As was I, I'm glad you brought it up.

And Welcome.


Edited by LukeJavan8 (12/11/12 01:08 PM)
_________________________
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#208298 - 12/11/12 02:52 PM Re: nincompoop [Re: barryrb]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
Originally Posted By: barryrb
Re: etymology, I was once told or read, perhaps in law school, that this was a corruption of the Latin phrase for mental defect or unsound mind, "non compos mentis."


but see Quinion

and here is OED online:
Etymology: Origin uncertain; the second element may perhaps be poop v.2 (compare earlier noddypoop n.). The first element in α forms may show a form derived from a name; compare French nicodème simple or naive person (see Nicodemite n.). With the first element in β forms compare ninny n.1
Various other etymologies have been suggested. Johnson's suggestion of non compos n. does not agree with the earliest forms.


Edited by tsuwm (12/11/12 02:57 PM)
Edit Reason: add oed

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