[Ads-l] batshit

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 11 18:51:16 EST 2016


And how could I have forgotten syn. "batty"?

JL

On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 6:50 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> 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/wik
>> i/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
>>
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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