Of the word doofus these are its principal synonyms:
berk [British], booby, charlie (also charley) [British], cuckoo, ding-a-ling, ding-dong, dingbat, dipstick, featherhead, fool, git [British], goose, half-wit, jackass, lunatic, mooncalf, nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, nut, nutcase, simp, simpleton, turkey, yo-yo…
Now of course if you’re disabled like me and you had a disabled childhood you heard a lot of demeaning terms during your formative years. I make no excuses for those who still use them nor am I cheering ableism. Half-wit is ugly, as is simpleton, nutcase, nut, lunatic, mooncalf and fool.
But I do like ding-dong and yo-yo.
Doofus is thought to be related to goofus. Some say it’s akin to doo-doo.
Why do I care?
Because there’s an innocence to the word.
Stan Laurel is a doofus, saintly.
Moms Mabele, Kurt Vonnegut, doofuses, saintly.
I grieve the steady erosion of land upon which the doofus can stand.
You can’t be a doofus, saintly, if you’ve a manifesto.
Charlie Chaplin! Doofus!
Yes I’ve lived in Doofus-ville. Most of my life actually.
Here’s a tip: the saintly comic innocents are never to be found in city hall.
Here’s a quote from G.K. Chesterton that helps illuminate the necessity of the doofus:
“Every confession that man is vicious is a confession that virtue is visionary. Every book which admits that evil is real is felt in some vague way to be admitting that good is unreal. The modern instinct is that if the heart of man is evil, there is nothing that remains good. But the older feeling was that if the heart of man was ever so evil, there was something that remained good—goodness remained good.”
You see the doofus stands for what remains good when the human heart is ever so small “e” evil.
One of my favorite quotes from the Three Stooges:
“How’re we gonna get in pictures? We know nothin’ about movies!” “There’s a couple o’ thousand people in pictures now who know nothin’ about it… three more won’t make any difference.”
(Curly & Moe)
The doofus knows there’s a good-goodness about showing up.