from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As nonsense one is mental retardation or intellectual deficit referred. While the term is no longer used in psychiatry today, it is still in use in law . Colloquially , the expression is used disparagingly synonymously for " nonsense ".


In German Dictionary is bullshit end of the 19th century, still as a lack of feeling and intellect describes the derived thereof moronic as "dull mind, with stunted emotional life". Gradually, the term took over as a milder expression for " nonsense " (formerly synonymous with "secondary nonsense" and "dementia" ) its meaning as intellectual disability.

Use in psychiatry

Normalized IQ distribution: “Bullshit” corresponded to an IQ of less than 70

In psychiatry, the term was used well into the 20th century as a general term for the graded degrees of intellectual disability debility (mild), imbecility (moderate to severe) and idiocy (most severe). In the psychiatric diagnosis , “nonsense” corresponded to an intelligence quotient of less than 70, that is, more than two standard deviations from the mean. In the case of innate forms, the term oligophrenia (from the Greek oligos “little” and φρήν, φρενός phrenos = “spirit”, “mind”, “diaphragm”) was used synonymously.

The diagnosis of “(congenital) nonsense” is nowadays considered out of date, judgmental and discriminatory in psychiatry and is no longer used, especially since the causes (e.g. fragile X syndrome ) are often known. In addition, the term is imprecise with regard to the degree of a disorder or a deficit. The former term “relative nonsense”, which is usually not associated with a reduction in intelligence, must also be distinguished from nonsense.

Use in law

The word is still used in legal terms in Germany today. The term continues to be used as a designation for a mental disability in the sense of a reduction in the cognitive performance of a person.

Nonsense can free you from guilt or responsibility for your own actions if it prevents insight into the injustice or the unlawful of the act:

Section 20 of the Criminal Code . Incapacity for guilt due to mental disorders.

Anyone who, when committing the act, is unable to see the wrongdoing of the act or to act according to this insight, acts without guilt because of a pathological mental disorder, because of a profound disturbance of consciousness or because of nonsense or another serious psychological abnormality .

Section 12 OWiG . Responsibility.

(2) Anyone who, when committing the act, is unable to see what is forbidden in the act or to act on the basis of this insight, is not reproachable because of a pathological psychological disorder, a profound disturbance of consciousness or because of feeble-mindedness or another serious psychological abnormality.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: nonsense  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. A. Müller, RW Schlecht, Alexander Früh, H. Still The way to health: A faithful and indispensable guide for the healthy and the sick. 2 volumes, (1901; 3rd edition 1906, 9th edition 1921) 31st to 44th edition. CA Weller, Berlin 1929 to 1931, Volume 2 (1929), pp. 120–123: The secondary nonsense, nonsense (dementia).
  2. Bullshit. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 15 : Schiefeln – Soul - (IX). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1899 ( woerterbuchnetz.de ).
  3. Reinhard Platzek: relative nonsense . A forgotten psychiatric diagnosis. In: Würzburger medical historical reports , 21, 2002, pp. 464–472.