Is the word idiot Greek?

The word “idiot” comes from the Greek noun ἰδιώτης idiōtēs ‘a private person, individual’, ‘a private citizen‘ (as opposed to an official), ‘a common man’, ‘a person lacking professional skill, layman’, later ‘unskilled’, ‘ignorant’, derived from the adjective ἴδιος idios ‘private’, ‘one’s own’.

It is certainly true that the Greeks valued civic participation and criticized non-participation. Thucydides quotes Pericles’ Funeral Oration as saying: “[we] regard… him who takes no part in these [public] duties not as unambitious but as useless” (τόν τε μηδὲν τῶνδε μετέχοντα οὐκ ἀπράγμονα, ἀλλ᾽ ἀχρεῖον νομίζομεν).However, neither he nor any other ancient author uses the word “idiot” to describe non-participants, or in a derogatory sense; its most common use was simply a private citizen or amateur as opposed to a government official, professional, or expert.The derogatory sense came centuries later, and was unrelated to the political meaning.

You can aslo read: 10 English Words With Origins in Greek Mythology

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