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i didn't think a human being could be a 'nonce', or is this some new usage i don't know about?

From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonce_%28slang%29

>> In the United Kingdom, nonce is a slang word for a sex offender or child sexual abuser.

Nonce means mild idiot in my social circles. I wasn't implying they were a social offender. I wasn't even aware of its implications. Learn something every day.

I'd delete the comment but HN has got ridiculously militant about that now and I can't.

In colloquial UK usage it means 'paedophile', and is generally considered offensive.

Unless they're really making claims about the person's sexuality, I'd guess the intended word was dunce, or something similar?

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