Idiot

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Related to idiotically: dullard, dunderheaded

IDIOT, Persons. A person who has been without understanding from his nativity, and whom the law, therefore, presumes never likely to attain any. Shelf. on Lun. 2.
     2. It is an imbecility or sterility of mind, and not a perversion of the understanding. Chit. Med. Jur. 345, 327, note s; 1 Russ. on Cr. 6; Bac. Ab. h.t. A; Bro. Ab. h.t.; Co. Litt. 246, 247; 3 Mod. 44; 1 Vern. 16; 4 Rep. 126; 1 Bl. Com. 302. When a man cannot count or number twenty, nor tell his father's or mother's name, nor how old he is, having been frequently told of it, it is a fair presumption that, he is devoid of understanding. F. N. B. 233. Vide 1 Dow, P. C. now series, 392; S. C. 3 Bligh, R. new series, 1. Persons born deaf, dumb, and blind, are, presumed to be idiots, for the senses being the only inlets of knowledge, and these, the most important of them, being closed, all ideas and associations belonging to them are totally excluded from their minds. Co. Litt. 42 Shelf. on Lun. 3. But this is a mere presumption, which, like most others, may be rebutted; and doubtless a person born deaf, dumb, and blind, who could be taught to read and write, would not be considered an idiot. A remarkable instance of such an one may be found in the person of Laura Bridgman, who has been taught how to converse and even to write. This young woman was, in the year 1848, at school at South Boston. Vide Locke on Human Understanding, B. 2 c. 11, Sec. 12, 13; Ayliffe's Pand. 234; 4 Com. Dig. 610; 8 Com. Dig. 644.
     3. Idiots are incapable of committing crimes, or entering into contracts. They cannot of course make a will; but they may acquire property by descent.
     Vide, generally, 1 Dow's Parl. Cas. new series, 392; 3 Bligh's R. 1; 19 Ves. 286, 352, 353; Stock on the Law of Non Compotes Mentis; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Johnson claimed he poured the second wine bottle down the toilet but judge Michael Longman said: "When people act irresponsibly and idiotically like you did, sentences of imprisonment will always be required."
For many long months now, the GOP campaign has operated on an idiotically low level of political discourse appealing to the belligerent impulses of voters and shamelessly playing on their irrational fears.
In 2008, Ezra Klein wrote idiotically that "Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal." In 2014, however, he wrote disdainfully, "Obama has flatly failed to restore America's faith in the government's ability to do big things well." Despite having been president for years, he was "curiously passive" about running a government capable of the V.A.
As a consequence of these moves, "The markets are collapsing, and the Fed idiotically is saying it is going to [raise rates] eight times by 2017.
What government official idiotically decided that the on-off ramps of the Skyway at Alabang should be only one lane?
Jeb Bush, seemingly more compassionately but no less idiotically, suggested that the government should admit "only Christians." And several governors around the country have stated bluntly that their states would not accept refugees of any religious stripe.
Business was booming at the mall on Friday teatime and after failing to find a parking space outside I set off to one of the multi-storey car parks and idiotically chose the one furthest away from our destination.
Who would have guessed that the parent you bonded with over at the school band fundraiser was so idiotically at odds with you on an issue you truly care about?
"Instead of raising awareness about the dangers of tattooing, our cinemas here just screen movies that show top actors with fancy tattoos across their bodies and idiotically the young generation without awareness just mimic them," said MP Jamal Dawood, who spearheaded the proposal.
"He agreed, idiotically, and got something inconsequential in return.
He agreed to that, idiotically, and got something inconsequential in return.
Horgan's best known for Pulling - probably the best show ever commissioned by BBC Three which they idiotically cancelled after just two series.