American English (You Donut)
In informal speech the phrase is used to highlight stupidity.
E.g. You Donut
- An individual whom is extremely stupid. Lacks intelligence and common sense.
- An idiot. A mild insult often used in the work places of southern England.
- Somebody who does something incredibly stupid. An idiot.
Yet I find it a peculiar turn of phrase. You would hardly refer to someone as a meringue to convey your contempt for how they have behaved or how stupid you believe them to be.
One of the entries in the link posted above, states:
Word Originates from Scottish town Strathaven
But I was able to find no more information as to how the meaning of the phrase first came about, or even to corroborate if the phrase was first used in Strathaven.
The article: Don’t get honey-fuggled, you doughnut! And other inventive uses of food in English published by Oxford Dictionaries, mentions the phrase in passing:
Initially, my first thoughts were of food and insults. It struck me that there are rather a lot of (mostly mild and affectionate) insults involving food. Along the lines of ‘don’t do that, you doughnut’...
But mentions nothing of the origin of the phrases meaning.
How does the doughnut work here as a vehicle of derision? I'm interested in the origin of meaning specifically. Why has the everyday doughnut entered the vernacular in certain parts of the English speaking world as an appropriate metaphor for stupidity?