Biblically speaking, a nimrod is a "great hunter". In Genesis 10, he's described as a "mighty hunter before the Lord", and this definition still prevails in some other English-speaking countries. However, in America, a nimrod is an "idiot", a "maladroit". How did this happen? It can all be attributed to Bugs Bunny! In one cartoon, he called Elmer Fudd (the lisping man who's perpetually trying to shoot him) a "nimrod". This was meant ironically at first; Bugs was joking that Fudd was actually a skilled hunter. However, people watching the show in America who weren't well versed in the Bible took it as an obscure insult, and began using it as such. Thus a great shift began; but where does the Biblical word nimrod come from? The truth is that there is no good answers. It has cognates in Aramaic and Arabic, so it's presumably of Proto-Semitic origin, but that's all we can glean.
Adam Aleksic, an incoming freshman at Harvard University, has been described as the internet's sixth most famous etymologist. He has disturbing interests in linguistics, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law, and he loves writing about himself in the third person.
The Etymology Nerd