The word for today is…

loon (noun) – 1. Any of several fish-eating diving birds of the genus Gavia of northern regions, having a short tail, webbed feet, and a laughlike cry.
2. A person who is foolish or crazy.
3. informal a simple-minded or stupid person
4. (dialect Northeast Scotland) a lad
5. (Historical Terms) archaic a person of low rank or occupation (esp in the phrase lord and loon)

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : There are a number of theories about the origin of loon as it refers to a crazy person, its most common current meaning. One is that it comes from loony, meaning “crazy.” But based on currently available evidence, loony is a late 19th-century alteration of lunatic that didn’t come into use until decades after the meaning of loon in question. (It’s still possible that loony influenced the development and spread of this meaning of loon.)

Another guess is that this loon is from the avian loon, inspired either by the bird’s maniacal cry or its displays to distract predators, such as skittering over water with its neck crooked. This is certainly possible, and is the origin story favored by some. But the story our dictionaries favor is a bit more quotidian: the current use of loon developed from earlier uses, primarily in Scottish and other northern dialects of British English, of loon to refer to a lout (an awkward, brutish person) or idler (someone who is idle, lazy, or inactive). While that loon, which is from Middle English loun, never spread to British English more broadly, immigrants from the regions where it was used had a significant influence on American English, and it’s not far-fetched to posit that their loon developed into the distinctly American use of the word to refer to daffy people.

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korau
Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother's and father's folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, two cats and assorted computers. His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he's now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.