One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who does not conform to social norms of behaviour because of mental disability or as a deliberate choice, regarded as having a compensating divine blessing or inspiration.
- ‘At sea the Frenchman is a holy fool, disillusioned by society and reluctant to let go of the ineffable feeling of well-being he gains at sea.’
- ‘People said he was a qalander, a holy fool, and very close to God.’
- ‘He's just great as the holy fool running around the moors grinning manically and whispering ‘I'm the Son of God!’’
- ‘He's in a place beyond ego - a holy fool, an accidental Buddhist, beyond thought.’
Translating Russian yurodivy, a term first used by Pushkin in the blank verse drama Boris Godunov (1831).
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