A foolish, fond parent. Here fond does not mean affectionate, but silly. Chaucer uses the word fonne for a simpleton, and the Scotch fou is to play the fool. Shakespeare has “fond desire,” “fond love,” “fond shekels of gold,” “fond wretch,” “fond madwoman,” etc. “Fondling” means an idiot, or one fond.
“See how simple and how fond I am.”
“Fonder than ignorance.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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