Definition of the word Genius

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Definition of the word Genius

We have all heard 'genius' as applied to a very smart person, but can anyone guess where it originated from?

How about this for a strange etymology...
... Quote:
Genie is an English translation of the Arabic term "jinn". The English word comes from the French "génie", which meant a spirit of any kind, which in turn came from the Latin "genius", which meant a sort of personal guardian spirit assigned to each person at birth.


... Quote:
# pl. geˇniˇi (jē'nē-ī'). Roman Mythology. A tutelary deity or guardian spirit of a person or place.
# A person who has great influence over another.
# A jinni in Muslim mythology.

So 'genius' is a form of possession by another spirit....

Who would have thought it?
By netchicken: posted on 27-7-2008

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