Dumb  

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Page from "Letter on the Deaf and Dumb" which illustrates Denis Diderot's take on medium specificity
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Page from "Letter on the Deaf and Dumb" which illustrates Denis Diderot's take on medium specificity

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Dumb may refer to:

  • Muteness, the condition of being unwilling or unable to speak
  • Stupidity, a lack of intelligence

Contents

Synonyms

Etymology 1

From Middle English dumb, from Old English dumb (“silent, silent, speechless, mute, unable to speak”), from Proto-Germanic *dumbaz (“dull, dumb”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeubʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, darken, obscure”). Cognate with Scots dumb (“dumb, silent”), North Frisian dom, domme (“dumb, stupid”), West Frisian dom (“dumb, stupid”), Dutch dom (“dumb, stupid”), German dumm (“dumb, stupid”), Swedish dum (“stupid”), Icelandic dumbur (“dumb, mute”).

In ordinary spoken English, a phrase like "He is dumb" is interpreted as "He is stupid" rather than "He lacks the power of speech". The latter example, however, is the original sense of the word. The senses of stupid, unintellectual, and pointless developed under the influence of the German word dumm (which itself derives from Old High German tumb).

Etymology 2

From Middle English dumbien, from Old English dumbian (more commonly in compound ādumbian (“to become mute or dumb; keep silence; hold one’s peace”)), from Proto-Germanic *dumbēną, *dumbōną (“to be silent, become dumb”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeubʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, darken, obscure”). Cognate with German dummen (“to become dumb”).

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dumb" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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