After three previous craziness posts (March 25, April 1, & April 8), we've finally reached the last one.
Good friend and fellow writer Bruce West wrote in & submitted these:
Dinky dau, a term Bruce & his fellow Viet Nam vets brought home with them. The direct translation is crazy head, though dinky dau is used as a synonym for crazy.
The universal sign language of the index finger spinning at the temple, which Bruce points out was first reported in 1885 by Captain “White Hat” Clark of the US Cavalry when documenting the sign language of Native Americans.
Plus a pile more. Due to the abundant number, I’m skipping the word histories (& dozens more crazy synonyms)..
Late 1600s – to be half-baked
1810 – to have a screw loose
1850s – to be off one’s chump
Late 1800s – to be off one’s base
Late 1800s - to be off one’s kadoova
Late 1800s -To not have all one’s buttons
Late 1800s – To slip a cog
Late 1800s – to be out of touch
1870 – to be off one’s conk
1890 – to be off one’s onion
Early 1900s - to be off one’s kazip
Early 1900s - to be off one’s bean
1929 – To be round the bend (or around the bend)
1940s - to be off one’s nana
1950s - to be off one’s nob
Having so many ways to say crazy is, well, crazy! In the comments section, I’m hoping some of you might note the term above that most took you by surprise.
Big thanks to this week’s sources: The Sixties Project, WP Clark’s The Indian Sign Language, Dictionary.com, English Language & Usage, Word Wizard, Merriam-Webster, & the OED.
4/15/2021 09:23:11 am
I am shocked that with all this fascination with craziness, that its correlation with the "short" family of descriptors did not make it into the discussion, it' s driving me bonkers and turning my life into bedlam!
4/15/2021 07:23:50 pm
Ronald A Perry
4/15/2021 10:48:40 am
We always said " Nutty as a shithouse rat" . Not sure where it came from, but there it is! Thanks Chet.
4/15/2021 07:23:41 pm
I guess it would be considered nutty to choose to live in an outhouse, but then again...rodents.
4/15/2021 11:02:25 am
And let's not forget one dog short of a full pack....
4/15/2021 07:25:04 pm
Of course, Bat Shit Crazy. My good friend Sioux Thompson is a big fan of that idiom.
Anne R. Allen
4/15/2021 05:29:25 pm
I was going to suggest "batsh*t" and batsh*t crazy" for last week's post. But I do think bats have an important role in the "crazy" idioms. I think that's because bats look a little off their onions when they fly around in odd patterns based on sound rather than sight. But why their excrement is supposed to be mentally unwell, I haven't figured out.
4/15/2021 07:28:01 pm
So, bats are of the order chiroptera. If we want to "clean up" this idiom, converting it into a euphemism, we could start saying someone was Chiroptera Excrement Challenged. Ha!
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I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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