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#208295 - 12/11/12 04:17 PM nincompoop  
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barryrb Offline
stranger
barryrb  Offline
stranger

Joined: Dec 2012
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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."

#208297 - 12/11/12 06:07 PM Re: nincompoop [Re: barryrb]  
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LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
LukeJavan8  Offline
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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.

Last edited by LukeJavan8; 12/11/12 06:08 PM.

----please, draw me a sheep----
#208298 - 12/11/12 07:52 PM Re: nincompoop [Re: barryrb]  
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tsuwm Offline
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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.

Last edited by tsuwm; 12/11/12 07:57 PM. Reason: add oed

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