Going Stir Crazy





What does Going Stir Crazy mean? Where did this expression come from?

By Mr. Mathuram, India - 16th July-2007

Well, my fever has forced me to stay at home. I haven’t stepped out even once in the past five days.

And you feel angry because the fever has forced you to stay inside.

Exactly! I feel angry and upset because I have been confined to the house. This forced confinement is making me very restless.

You probably feel very anxious. I think I understand what stir crazy means now.

How about these examples?

• I promised my sister that I would take care of her kids while she was on tour. But after a week, I was going stir crazy.

• I’m told that people who live in really cold places get stir crazy during the winter season.

It was a slang term used in prison.

We understand the slang word for prison is stir. Stir crazy was the expression used by inmates to refer to prisoners who had become mentally unbalanced because of their confinement.

Being cooped up in prison for a long time had driven them crazy.

Later, the expression was used to refer to any kind of confinement. Not just prison.

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