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When classification systems were introduced in the 19th century, idiot was used to denote the lowest rank of intelligence and functional ability, similar to what we would define as a profound learning disability today. In earlier English used to describe 'dull witted' people who could be seen as broadly equivalent to what we would define as having a learning disability, but could be used in a wider sense to describe the labouring classes and the peasantry. Today used pejoratively or abusively.

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