[Ads-l] batshit

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 12 05:57:11 EST 2016


> The comic-strip character, Batson D. Belfry.

Whoa! You got me there!

Details?

JL


On Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 12:42 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> See also Green's Dictionary of Slang, which dates the noun to 1943 and the
> adjective to 1966. (The adverb is folded into the adj. sense.)
>
> _batshit_ n.
> also _batcrap_
> 1. lies, nonsense, rubbish; also as excl. [play on _bullshit_ n. (1)/_crap_
> n.1 (4)].
> 1943 H. MacDiarmid _Lucky Poet_ 100: Batshit ! ' That is exactly what the
> judgement of almost every writer of signed reviews in Great Britain amounts
> to. Just that !
> [...]
>
> _batshit_ adj.
> [_batshit_ n. (2) + _bats_ adj.]
> insane, crazy, also as adv.; thus _go batshit_ v., to become insane, to act
> crazily; _drive batshit_ v., to drive mad.
> 1966 R. Stone _Hall of Mirrors_ (1987) 202: You’re batshit.
> [...]
>
> On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 9:03 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I have also encountered "bullshit" in the meaning of "crazy," but only
> > since the 1970s.
> >
> > The 1950 "bat shit" strikes me as unidiomatic and very odd.
> >
> > At any rate, see HDAS I.
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 8:19 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > If I understand this right, the sense that is an alternative for
> bullshit
> > > is:
> > >
> > >         • A worthless or contemptible thing; rubbish, nonsense. Cf.
> > > bullshit n. (1950 M. Shedd Return to Beach ii. 156: "I felt the minute
> > hand
> > > of that bat shit of a Judas clock stand up to me.”)
> > >
> > > For me, “bullshit” does not work in this sentence. Cf.
> > > https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bullshit <https://en.wiktionary.org/
> > > wiki/bullshit>. Perhaps the meaning of bullshit has changed.
> > >
> > > BB
> > >
> > > > On 11 Dec 2016, at 17:02, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > At http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/38354/where-did-
> > > the-phrase-batsht-crazy-come-from we read that while histoplasmosis
> may
> > > indeed be implicated, the first occurrences of “batshit” were as
> variants
> > > of “bullshit”.  Clearly, the meaning has shifted over the decades.
> Given
> > > the standardly assumed culpability cat poop in the spread of
> > > *toxo*plasmosis (a danger I still somewhat suspect of having been
> > > exaggerated if not wholly invented to give pregnant women an excuse to
> > have
> > > their partners clean the litter box full time for the duration of
> > > gestation), I wondered whether “catshit crazy” also occurred, and it
> > > does—99 actual g-hits.  Still pales next to batshit and histoplasmosis,
> > but
> > > it’s not *that* shabby…
> > > >
> >
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> 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."

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