ANSWERS: 1
  • According to one reference: "...The word 'nut' first was used as a slang term for 'head' back around 1820. Gradually it acquired the meaning not merely of 'head' but of 'something wrong in the head.' So now a mentally ill person may be referred to as 'nuts' or 'nutty." From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/29/messages/1114.html "crazy," 1846, from earlier be nutts upon "be very fond of" (1785), which is possibly from nuts (n., pl.) "any source of pleasure" (1617), from nut (q.v.). Sense influenced probably by metaphoric application of nut to "head" (1846, e.g. to be off one's nut "be insane," 1860). Nut "crazy person, crank" is attested from 1903, (British form nutter first attested 1958). Connection with the slang "testicle" sense has tended to nudge it toward taboo. "On the N.B.C. network, it is forbidden to call any character a nut; you have to call him a screwball." ["New Yorker," Dec. 23, 1950] "Please eliminate the expression 'nuts to you' from Egbert's speech." [Request from the Hays Office regarding the script of "The Bank Dick," 1940] This desire for avoidance accounts for the euphemism nerts (c.1925). Nutty "crazy" is first attested 1898. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=nuts Idioms: drive someone crazy Also, drive someone mad or bananas or bonkers or nuts or up the wall; drive someone to drink. Greatly exasperate someone, annoy to distraction. For example, His habitual lateness drives me crazy, or Apologizing over and over drives me bananas, or These slovenly workmen drive me up the wall, or Your nagging is driving me to drink. All of these hyperbolic expressions describe a person's extreme frustration, supposedly to the point of insanity (crazy, mad, nuts, bonkers, and bananas all mean "insane"); up the wall alludes to climbing the walls to escape and to drink to imbibing alcohol to induce oblivion. http://www.answers.com/topic/drive-someone-crazy

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