Why do I  try to stop my young grandchildren from using the words dumb or stupid?

To explain why, I have to begin with the explanation of how and when the word stupid originated which I obtained from Wikipedia.


 The root word stupid,[4] which can serve as an adjective or noun, comes from the Latin verb stupere, for being numb or astonished, and is related to stupor.[5] In Roman culture, Stupidity is a quality or state of being stupid, or an act or idea that exhibits properties of being stupid.[3]the stupidus was the professional fall-guy in the theatrical mimes.[6]

According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the words “stupid” and “stupidity” entered the English language in 1541. Since then, stupidity has taken place along with “fool,” “idiot,” “dumb,” “moron,” and related concepts as a pejorative appellation for human misdeeds, whether purposeful or accidental, due to absence of mental capacity.

From reading the above, the word stupid did not exist during King Solomon’s lifetime. However that is not my reason. There are a number of reasons and I will only list three for the sake of brevity.

1. When we describe a person’s actions as dumb or stupid we imply that we are more intelligent than another.

2. We insult and degrade the person in both our eyes and in the eyes of those who hear our comments.

3. We insult God, their maker.

There are numerous King Solomon proverbs to guide us to be humble, not to gossip, and to respect God and care for our fellow human beings. We all were created by the blessings of our Creator with various talents and purpose in life.  However, because none of us are perfect, we will all do or say wise and foolish things at different times of our lives. like the author of the above sign

When we understand how the words, dumb, stupid, moron, idiots, etc. came into existence, we will find that most of these words originated after the “great awakening period” in the Middle Ages. The purpose of the awakening in some instances was to challenge religious and moral faith beliefs with various philosophic, and psychological opinions. When we review the history of these supposedly wise human opinions, we find that many have been challenged, disproved, changed, and altered by different or later opinions. In other words human opinions are not always perfect or as wise as we are often times are led to believe.

King Solomon

In a novel excerpt, I surmise an example of how King Solomon, based on his proverbs, would have advised the Queen of Sheba about his wisdom relative to this post. I selected this proverb as an example that addresses the subject of rich and poor because many believe wealth to be a  measure to categorize and distinguish the wise from the foolish. Note that this proverb also addresses who the maker is of both. The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to our modern times.


“The problem to avoid between the rich and poor is when the rich believe that they are better than the poor, or the poor envy and steal from the rich. Then the rich will separate themselves from living among the poor. When wealth separates people, the community will divide and weaken in time. There may be a difference in wealth among people, but our God has created both rich and poor for a reason.” Rich and poor live side by side, Yahweh makes them all. (Proverb 22:2)

In My Opinion

I believe we should only judge a fellow human action or deed with these two words, wise or foolish, same as King Solomon used, who was blessed with God’s wisdom. By only using only these two words, we will convey the message to only judge a person’s choice of actions rather than label, demean, or insult them personally.  And in my personal opinion, fools are not only fall guys in theatrical Roman mimes, there are also fall guys who choose to follow a culture that believes human intelligence or opinions are on par with the Divine Wisdom of God.

You Decide

Next time you discern someone’s action, was it dumb or stupid, or wise or foolish?


As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka.

Available as an eBook at most sellers.  Read an excerpt by clicking below.


Additional Reference

The Only Source of Wisdom  HERE