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Dunce

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A dolt; a stupid person. The word is taken from Duns Scotus, the learned schoolman and great supporter of the immaculate conception. His followers were called Dunsers. Tyndal says, when they saw that their hair-splitting divinity was giving way to modern theology, “the old barking curs raged in every pulpit” against the classics and new notions, so that the name indicated an opponent to progress, to learning, and hence a dunce.        

“He knew what’s what, and that’s as high

As metaphysic wit can fly … .

A second Thomas, or at once

To name them all, another Dunse.”

1


Butler: Hudibras, i. 1.

Dunce. (See Abderitan, Arcadian, BŒotian.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Dumb Dog (A)
Dumb Ox of Cologne (The)
Dumb-waiter
Dummy
Dummies
Dump
Dumps
Dun
Dun Cow
Dun in the Mire
Dunce
Dunciad
Dunderhead
Dundreary (Lord)
Dungaree
Dunghill!
Dunghill
Dunkers
Dunmow
Dunmow Flitch
Duns Scotus

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