Daffy Duck Taught Everyone The Wrong Definition Of The Word 'Nimrod'
Hey nimrods! No, we’re not trying to insult any of you by suggesting you’re “inept” or a bunch of “doofuses.” We’re using the proper and original definition of the word here which is “skilled hunters,” for you are all skilled in the hunt for knowledge and correct meanings of words. You word nerds, you.
Unlike those Looney Tunes cartoons who are clearly the villainous fiends of linguistics here. It turns out that Daffy Duck and friends had a helping hand in misrepresenting the true meaning of the word by constantly calling Elmer Fudd the nimrod (hunter) a real “nimrod” (a buffoon).
Here’s Daffy Duck saying it to Fudd’s face in his sweet, sarcastic Daffy tone:
Here’s Daffy Duck saying it to Fudd’s face while going off on a cursing rant in the 1997 short, "(blooper) Bunny!":
The joke, quite obviously, is that while Fudd is a hunter or a nimrod in the original sense, the tone Daffy uses can change that meaning and turn it into an (insulting) inside joke. It’s like when people annoyed with their friends’ newborn baby puts up a fake smile and says, “Aw, cute.” Or how Daffy, the master of sarcasm, uses “Mr. Sportsman” in this episode:
The problem is that, thanks to Daffy, Bugs, and the whole gang, few people can actually remember the more positive meaning of the word anymore. Before it became an occupation — and then later, an insult — “Nimrod” was a person in the Bible who was said to have been “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” But somewhere in more recent years, that meaning shifted to imply a maybe not-so-great hunter. In other words, someone basically discovered sarcasm.
This new definition is said to have been present in North American slang before the Looney Tunes burst onto the scene in the 1930s, but that duck and his disdain for everyone and especially hunter Fudd turned it into the mainstream insult it is today. That darn duck.
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Top Image: Warner Bros.