English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Madness - Insanity
|away with the fairies||
Someone who is away with the fairies
is in such a dreamy state that they are not
totally in touch with reality and give the
impression of being slightly mad.
It's no use trying to explain the problem to her - she's away with the fairies!
If someone becomes very emotional and starts
behaving in a crazy way, they go
If you announce that you are going to drop out of school, your parents will go bananas!
|basket case||A person whose
agitated mental state leaves them helpless
or unable to cope with things is called a
Jenny will turn into a basket case if this stressful situation continues.
|bats in the belfry||If you say that somebody has bats in
the belfry, you mean that
they are eccentric or crazy.
He comes up with the craziest ideas - he must have bats in the belfry!
|have you gone out of your mind?||If you ask someone if they have gone
out of their mind,
you think they are crazy, foolish or insane.
You're going to ask for a 100% increase in salary? Have you gone out of your mind?
|harebrained idea||A harebrained
idea is an idea or suggestion that is
considered to be silly, foolish or totally
We'll never make any progress if you have nothing but harebrained ideas to offer!
|the lights are on, but no one is home||This is a humorous way of referring to
someone who is lacking intelligence or
sanity, or to someone who is simply
preoccupied and not paying attention.
Forget about Andy today - the lights are on but no one is home!
|lose one's marbles||If someone
loses their marbles, they become
mentally confused, or no longer behave
sensibly or rationally.
The old man is acting very strangely. He seems to have lost his marbles.
|not all there||Someone who is
not all there behaves strangely at
times, or seems a bit odd.
Our new neighbour wears a hat and coat even in summer; he's not all there!
|not in one's right mind||Someone who is not in their right
mind is not behaving in a logical or
Julie wasn't in her right mind the day she bought that outfit. It doesn't suit her at all!
|not playing with a full deck (of cards)||Someone who is
not playing with a full deck (of cards)
lacks intelligence or does not have full
Old Mrs.Whitehead was not playing with a full deck when she bought that fancy lawnmower!
|go nuts||To say that a person has gone nuts
means that they have become completely
foolish, eccentric or mad.
I think the old lady has gone nuts! It's very hot today and she's wearing a fur coat!
|nutty as a fruitcake||Someone who is (as) nutty as a fruitcake
is insane or crazy.
Don't pay attention to what the old man says; he's as nutty as a fruitcake!
|off your rocker!||If you tell someone that they are
off their rocker, you think they are
You're going to give all your money away? You're off your rocker!
|rats in the attic||If you say that someone has rats in
the attic, you mean that they are a bit
mad or that their behaviour is eccentric.
She keeps repeating the same question. I think she's got rats in the attic.
|a screw loose||If someone has a screw loose,
their behaviour is strange and they appear
She wears a fur coat in the summer - she must have a screw loose!
|stark raving mad||To say that someone is stark raving
mad means that they are completely
You're stark raving mad to go sailing in this weather.
|stir crazy||If a person
goes stir-crazy, they become very
agitated or nervous because they have been
confined to a place for too long.
After several days in quarantine, people were going stir-crazy.
|take leave of one's senses||To say to someone
'have you taken leave of your senses?'
means that you think their behaviour is
You're going skiing in this blizzard? Have you taken leave of your senses?
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