Mental Floss

It’s not always good to be famous.  Take for example, John Duns Scotus, the man whose middle name is the origin of the word “dunce.”

“The 13th/14th-century thinker, whose writings synthesized Christian theology and Aristotle’s philosophy, was considerably less dumb than a brick. Unfortunately for Scotus, subsequent theologians took a dim view of all those who championed his viewpoint.

These ‘Scotists,’ ‘Dunsmen,’ or ‘Dunses’ were considered hairsplitting meatheads and, eventually, just ‘dunces.'”

You can read more of this article by Mark Peters at CNN called Awful Words Named for Real People, visit the Mental Floss blog for more strange and interesting articles, or subscribe to the Mental Floss print magazine.

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