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Idio- Words: “idiopathic” to “idioxanthic”
Part 2 of 2.

Words that come from idio-, idi- (Greek: peculiar, one’s own, personal, private; of or pertaining to one’s self; distinct, separate, alone).

1. Of a disease: Arising by itself in a particular part of the body; of the nature of a primary morbid state; not consequent upon or symptomatic of another disease.
2. Used to describe a disease or disorder that has no known cause.
1. A feeling or sensation peculiar to an individual or class; an individual or personal state of feeling.
2. A disease not preceded or occasioned by any other; a primary disease.
A percussion instrument, e.g. a gong or xylophone, that is made from resonating material that does not have to be tuned
Relating to, or originating in, the mind or brain alone, not reflex or secondary.
A spasm limited to a specific area of the body.
Relating to ideas developed within one’s own mind, independent of suggestion from without.
One who has some peculiarity of vision.
Self repelling.
Peculiar to the retina.
Peculiar to a particular organ.
Peculiar to the male sex.
idiosyncrasy, idiosyncratic:
1. A way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is peculiar to an individual or group, especially an odd or unusual one.
2. An unusual or exaggerated reaction to a drug or food that is not caused by an allergy.
3. In pharmacology, an abnormal reaction to a drug, sometimes specified as genetically determined.
4. The mental constitution peculiar to a person or class of persons; individual bent of mind or inclination; a view or feeling, a liking or aversion, peculiar to a single person, race, or nation.
5. A mode of expression peculiar to an author.
Peculiar to a particular disease.
1. An offensive term that deliberately insults someone else's intelligence.
2. An offensive term in a now disused classification system for someone with an IQ of about 25 or under and a mental age of less than three years.

The Greek adjective idios means “one’s own” or “private”. The derivative noun idiotes means “private person”. A Greek idiotes was simply a person who was not in the public eye, who held no public office. From this sense came the idea of “common man”, and later “ignorant person”; a natural extension, because the common people of Greece were not, in general, particularly well educated. The word was borrowed from Greek into Latin as idiota, then into French as idiote, which in turn became a loanword in English in the thirteenth century. The milder meaning of idiot, “ignorant person”, is now considered obsolete.

To summarize: The word idiot came from Greek, idiotes, through Latin idiota, and then middle French, idiote; meaning, person in a private station, person without professional knowledge, ignorant person, common man, from idios, “one’s own, private, peculiar”.

Webster’s Word Histories.
Springfield, Massachusetts:
Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers, 1989.

idiot board:
A placard, projector, or continuous roll of paper that prompts a television performer with lines to be spoken.
idiot box:
Slang for a television or a television set.
idiot card:
Slang for a TV idiot board.
idiot light:
A warning light, from the idea that the light is for people who can’t figure out the gauges.
Constructed or designed so as not to fail or go wrong even if misused.
idiot-savant, idiot savant, idiot-prodigy (plurals: idiots savants, idiot savants, or even idiotsavants are listed in various dictionaries):
1. Someone who has a psychiatric disorder or who is generally mentally defective, but who is exceptionally gifted or who displays unusual aptitude or brilliance in one particular area, e.g., rapid mental calculation, architechtural drawing, sculpturing, playing the piano (without lessons), or remembering certain facts.
2. A person of low general intelligence who possesses an unusual faculty in performing certain mental tasks of which most “normal” persons are incapable.
Peculiar to the female sex.
An offensive term that deliberately insults someone else’s behavior.
A dictionary of a particular dialect.
1. The condition of an idiot, especially an extreme degree of mental deficiency, usually a mental age of less than three or four years; idiocy.
2. Idiotic conduct or action, especially in a so-called normal person.
The state of being an idiot. Some psychiatrists have divided insanity into four subdivisions; namely, mania, melancholia, dementia, and idiotism (advanced dementia).
Something capable of choosing its own food.
Turning inward upon one’s self, introspective; egocentric.
The total hereditary determinants of an individual, comprising both chromosomal and extrachromosomal factors.
In biology, the genetic phenomenon of mutation, implying a constant change in the genotypical structure of an organism.
In cardiology, relating to or affecting only the ventricle and not the atria.
Peculiar to yellow races.