[Ads-l] batshit

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 11 18:50:47 EST 2016


But cf. earlier syn. "bats" < "have bats in your belfry."

Consider too that "batshit" considerably antedates "batshit crazy."

Cf. also the likelihood that "bullshit" may elaborate earlier-attested
"bull," via syn. (but only latterly attested) "shit."


JL

On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 6:24 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Fascinating theory, thank you! The timeline of histoplasmosis on Wikipedia
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoplasmosis#History <
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoplasmosis#History>) matches well with
> the citations. BB
>
> > On 11 Dec 2016, at 15:21, David Champion <dgc.ads at BIKESHED.US> wrote:
> >
> > I have been under the impression that "batshit crazy" derives
> > from the possibility of delirious or psychotic behavior induced
> > by histoplasmosis acquired through inhalation of fungus from bat
> > guano.  I find a few allusions to this medical possibility, e.g.
> > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4520962/, but nothing
> > detailed in a cursory search.
> >
> > Not sure this is well substantiated, but it sounds great.
> >
> >
> > * On 11 Dec 2016, Barretts Mail wrote:
> >> The online Oxford Dictionary (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/
> definition/batshit <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/batshit>)
> says that “batshit” is an adjective meaning completely crazy. That meaning
> seems odd to me (e.g., “she’s batshit” or “that’s a batshit idea") but
> Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/batshit <
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/batshit>) and the Urban Dictionary (
> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=batshit <
> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=batshit>) concur.
> >>
> >> I consider “batshit” to be an adverb particularly in collations such as
> “batshit crazy”, which Wiktionary and the UD have.
> >>
> >> About the origin, the Wiktionary talk page (https://en.wiktionary.org/
> wiki/Talk:batshit <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:batshit>) has
> mention of an opinion on some forum that this usage of “batshit" comes from
> “bats in the belfry.” That expression has seemed dated to me for at least
> twenty years but could certainly be accurate given the dates and the
> contexts of the citations below. For “batshit crazy,” however, the
> irregular flitting movement of bats is a better metaphorical image to me.
> >>
> >> "The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English” (
> http://bit.ly/2hjnjTb <http://bit.ly/2hjnjTb>, 2015, edited by Tom
> Dalzell and Terry Victor) have both parts of speech, the adjective to 1972
> and the adverb to 1988.
> >>
> >> 1. "End Over End” (http://bit.ly/2hdKEbB <http://bit.ly/2hdKEbB>,
> 1946, by Nelson Gidding, date confirmed by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
> Nelson_Gidding <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Gidding>).
> >>
> >> ——
> >> … the evading American airman. Batshit. They …
> >> Batshit. He was indulging in housemaids’ theology.
> >> Batshit. You’ll never get a cigarette that way.
> >>
> >> 2. “The Longest Way Round” (http://bit.ly/2gPn7uj <
> http://bit.ly/2gPn7uj>, 1958 Google-dated, by Bart Cole) has the term
> three times.
> >>
> >> ——
> >> And the goddamn wire broke, he thought, when I felt the minute hand of
> that bat shit of a Judas clock stand up to me.
> >> “Oh bat shit,” I said. “I’m going home.”
> >> “Bat shit,” I said. “You do not have to go if you don’t want to.”
> >> ——
> >>
> >> The dating seems accurate as per http://bit.ly/2hdPyoJ <
> http://bit.ly/2hdPyoJ> and http://bit.ly/2hBuBB7 <http://bit.ly/2hBuBB7>.
> But FWIW, "Return to the Beach” (http://bit.ly/2hBv1aN <
> http://bit.ly/2hBv1aN>, 1950 Google-dated, by Margaret Shedd) has the
> same Judas clock line.
> >>
> >> Benjamin Barrett
> >> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> > --
> > David Champion • dgc at bikeshed.us
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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