I seem to remember a discussion about this here at the forum, but "crackpot" and "origin" bring up way too many threads to find it.Anyway, can any one give me some etymological explanations about the word "crackpot"?
This webpage seems to have a plausible history:
In short, they theorize that it was an evolutionary set of multiple abbreviations.
Cracked being shortened to Crack
Cracked being an ellipsis for Brain-Cracked. Cracked, meaning broken.. Hence: A broken brain
They claim that Pot was a word used for Head in the middle ages, citing an English translation of an apparently French document from 1425; "Ye pot of ye heued"
Though, "The pot of the head", sounds more like a hat to me.
Perhaps this is the origin of tin-foil hats, worn by crackpots?
On a related crackpot side-note, I've decided to include these two jewels, from my 10 minutes of research (circa 2006):
Tom Mattson said:What Zapper was telling you is that PF represents a new type of case that does not fit the molds you know. PF is an example of a science website whose membership and activity actually exploded after we implemented tighter controls on crackpottery. Today we don't allow crackpottery at all on the site, and we are at an all time high. If you do not start to incorporate this data point into your analysis then I'm afraid your arguments are going to fall on deaf ears.
Chroot said:You're not the first person to tell us that our site will die without crackpots.
The thread is incredibly long, and it brings me both joy and pain, at the same time.
Tom's post reminds me of my first days here, as I was really tired of poorly moderated sites:
Om-might-be-a-troll-Cheeto said:I did a test post to see how this forum would respond to a kook post my first few days here.
It was locked immediately.
I promptly became a gold member.
IMHO, I would say that they are a bit slow around here about locking/deleting/banning......
But, that's just my humble opinion......
Ivan Seeking said:Haha, yes, that was the first time that someone sent me a pm to thank me for locking their thread. :)
It was so unusual that I made a post about it in the Mentor's forum.
It was a test, and only a test, of the emergency crackpot system.