stupid is as stupid does



Apparently modeled on handsome is as handsome does. Attested since at least 1862, but popularized (perhaps independently) by the 1994 film Forrest Gump.


stupid is as stupid does

  1. One's lack of intelligence may be judged by one's actions.
    • 1882 Anthony Trollope: Orley Farm
      As long as a man can pay twenty shillings in the pound and a trifle over, what does it matter
      if all the judges in the land was to call him stupid?' said Snengkeld.
      "Stupid is as stupid does." said Kantwise.
      "Stupid be d--." said Moulder.
      "Mr. Moulder, there's ladies present." said Mrs. Smiley,