\ \ [18] In the Swiss-French dialect of the high Alps the term creitin or crestin (their version of christian) was applied to people suffering from mental handicap and stunted growth – the notion being to emphasize that despite their abnormalities, such people were nevertheless as much human beings as any other ‘Christian’. The word was adopted (via French crétin) as a clinical term for someone suffering from dwarfism and mental retardation as a result of a congenital thyroid deficiency, and was subsequently broadened out, towards the end of the 19th century, as a general disparaging term for a ‘fool’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • crétin — crétin, ine [ kretɛ̃, in ] n. • 1750; valaisan crétin, var. de chrétien « innocent » 1 ♦ Personne atteinte de crétinisme, par insuffisance thyroïdienne. ⇒ idiot, goitreux. « C est une espèce d “innocente”, de crétine, de “demeurée” » (Proust). 2… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cretin — CRETÍN, Ă, cretini, e, adj., s.m. şi f. (Persoană) care suferă de cretinism; imbecil, idiot. ♦ (Om) stupid, absurd. – Din fr. crétin. Trimis de RACAI, 30.09.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  CRETÍN adj., s. v. idiot. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa:… …   Dicționar Român

  • Cretin — may refer to: Cretinism Cretin Derham Hall High School Cretin Hall Joseph Crétin (1799–1857), bishop Parliamentary cretinism This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Cretin — Cretin, Crétin Variante de Chrétien (voir ce nom), rencontrée surtout en Franche Comté, où l on trouve aussi la variante Chretin, Chrétin. Diminutifs : Cretineau, Crétineau (37), Cretinon, Crétinon (38), Chretinat, Chrétinat (10) …   Noms de famille

  • cretin — 1779, from Fr. crétin (18c.), from Alpine dialect crestin, a dwarfed and deformed idiot of a type formerly found in families in the Alpine lands, a condition caused by a congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones, from V.L. *christianus a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cretin — [krēt′ n; ] Brit [ kre′tin] n. [Fr crétin, dial. form of chrétien; lit., Christian, hence human being (in contrast to brutes) < LL(Ec) Christianus,CHRISTIAN: sense development as in SILLY] 1. a person suffering from cretinism 2. a very stupid… …   English World dictionary

  • Cretin — Cre tin (kr[=e] t[i^]n), n. [F. cr[ e]tin; of uncertain origin.] One afflicted with cretinism. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cretin — (spr. Kreteng, vom romanischen Cretina, elendes Geschöpf), Name der ursprünglich in Graubündten u. Unterwallis, in neuerer Zeit aber allen von Kindheit an, unter Verkümmerung der körperlichen [523] Entwickelung, an einer eigenen Art von Blödsinn… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Crétin — (spr. täng), s. Kretinismus …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cretin — Cretin, s. Kretin …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • cretin — now pronounced kret in, was originally used to mean (in current terminology) ‘a person who is deformed and mentally retarded as the result of a thyroid deficiency’ and is etymologically related to the word Christian. Its dominant meaning in… …   Modern English usage

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