Origin of mattoidItalian mattoide ; from matto, mad ; from Classical Latin mattus, intoxicated: see mat
(comparative more mattoid, superlative most mattoid)
- Displaying erratic behaviour
- A person who displays such behaviour
- Compound of genius and fool
From Italian matto (“insane") + -oid (“likeness or resemblance"), from Ancient Greek Îµá¼¶Î´Î¿Ï‚ (eidos, “form")
First appeared in English in 1891 through a translation of the nineteenth-century Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso's work, Man of Genius. H G Wells used it in several of his books, most notably in Mankind in the Making of 1903, in which he derides the theories of Lombroso and the Victorian phrenologists: “Among such theorists none at present are in quite such urgent need of polemical suppression as those who would persuade the heedless general reader that every social failure is necessarily a "˜degenerate', and who claim boldly that they can trace a distinctly evil and mischievous strain in that unfortunate miscellany which constitutes "˜the criminal class'... These mattoid scientists make a direct and disastrous attack upon the latent self-respect of criminals."