One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A foolish or stupid person.
- ‘Now wizened, and hopefully wiser too, he still is not able to leave an impression on anybody except two real nincompoops in the film.’
- ‘America felt more comfortable with a nincompoop, or at least a lot of those who voted did.’
- ‘The best it can do is take people's minds off it by producing wow-provoking new initiatives and making National look like a bunch of nincompoops.’
- ‘The small hotel bar is one of the most uncomfortable places I have ever visited, and filled with the sort of shrill nincompoops that I would normally go to great lengths to avoid.’
- ‘Reading such works, I am inclined to throw the egotistical nincompoops out the window - as this is frequently impossible, I content myself with throwing the relevant books across the room.’
- ‘As a result, the Ministry of Works runs the very real risk of being labelled cowardly and managerial nincompoops for failing to see and act on glaring truths for fear of making an error.’
- ‘Costume rental shops report brisk business in trying to keep up with the insatiable demand of name-dropping nincompoops looking for funky fashions and gaudy gowns to wear for the event.’
- ‘I'm not really surrounded by nincompoops, I know that.’
- ‘Or maybe you think I'm a crass, stupid, nincompoop?’
- ‘The responsibility for putting a nincompoop in charge of federal disaster relief doesn't rest with the nincompoop.’
- ‘We'd feel like nincompoops without our jackets and helmets.’
- ‘But it is fun to think of the worst American newsrooms as comprising a bunch of jerks working for an elite corps of nincompoops.’
- ‘At this point I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm some sort of sanctimonious horse's butt, preaching to all the nincompoops.’
- ‘It's great for you, too, because if your one guy is an ill-prepared nincompoop, then your whole country doesn't go down with him,’ she says.’
- ‘Then of course there are curmudgeons like me who think it's a waste of time to invent something that helps nincompoops organize their recipes, play solitaire, or set a trap for a wireless mouse.’
- ‘And, as a reader recently suggested, it would allow movie watchers to gang up on the nincompoops who insist on chatting away on their cell phones during the show - if their cell phones are equipped with recorders.’
- ‘I can wish that the Pope would do something almost no Pope has ever done: fire a bunch of bishops for being nincompoops.’
- ‘For some people, this can be horrible, and certainly if you're not a nincompoop you'll be aware of this and try and manage your public presentation of personality accordingly.’
- ‘Nothing will pierce the thick skins of the nincompoops that lord over us.’
- ‘When the audience looked at him, it saw a sniveling nincompoop.’
Late 17th century: perhaps from the given name Nicholas or from Nicodemus (by association with the Pharisee of this name, and his naive questioning of Christ; compare with French nicodème ‘simpleton’).
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