Wed 12 Oct 2005
I know, the “your” should be “you’re.” That’s what makes it funny. It reminds me of this shirt:
Anyway, back to nimrod. Most people associate it (rightly) with “a person regarded as silly, foolish, or stupid.” (Dictionary.com)
Readers of the Bible or The Book of Mormon might recall a great hunter with that name. Indeed the original sense of the word is simply a hunter.
So how did a great hunter become a twit? Turns out that people found it funny to call inept hunters nimrod. The OED has “2. A great or skilful hunter (freq. ironic); any person who likes to hunt. Also fig.” It’s the freq. ironic / sarcastic that interests us here.
Enter Warner Brother’s Bugs Bunny. According to Dictionary.com, Bugs used the phrase “poor little Nimrod,” to mock Elmer Fudd, the dimwitted, bumbling hunter. Hunce the connection from a nimrod to a moron. (Of course, Bugs wasn’t the first to use nimrod/moron, OED says it was: “1933 B. HECHT & G. FOWLER Great Magoo III. i. 183 He’s in love with her. That makes about the tenth. The same old Nimrod. Won’t let her alone for a second.”)
Tah dah! That concludes your etymology lesson for the day.