Drive Someone Doolally

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Drive Someone Doolally : Phrases


To drive someone mad.


His walk across the Sahara Desert was enough to drive him doolally - next time he planned to use Rent-A-Camel.


After a tour of duty, British troops in India were sent back to Britain for redeployment. Troopships were the means of transport and the troops were sent to the appropriate port to await the arrival of the ship. There they had to wait, often for weeks, in the heat and humidity. They were nearly driven mad by boredom. The port was called Deolali which became Anglicised and used as a term of semi-abuse.

Alternative: A large "lunatic asylum" in Deolali may have played a role in the evolution of the phrase.

Alternative: "Deo" in Urdu means "Devil", and "Lal" means "Red".

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