Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crazy for Synonyms for Insane

For some reason, there are far more words for the insane than we probably need. They say Eskimos have 26 words for snow; we have more than that for the psychotic. They have different kinds of snow, we have different kinds of psychos, some dangerous, some fun, some eccentric. Euphemisms, like “not playing with a full deck”, follow the synonyms.

A – Aberrant, abnormal
B – Bent, berserk, bonkers, bananas, batty
C – Crazy, cracked, certifiable, cuckoo
D – Daffy, demented, deranged, disturbed, delirious, demonic
E – Eccentric, extreme
F – Flaky, fanatical, Freudian, flipped
G – Goofy, gone, ga-ga
H – Hysterical, haywire
I – Insane
J – Janus, juiced
K – Kooky
L – Looney, lunatic, loco
M – Mad, mental, maniacal, multiple-personality
N – Nuts
O – Odd, off
P – Psychotic, peculiar, perverted, possessed
Q – Quixotic, quirky, quack
R – Remedial
S – Screwy, schizo, split
T – Tilted, troubled
U – Unbalanced, unhinged, unintelligible
V – Void
W – Wacky, withdrawn
X – Xenophobic (ok, so I'm stretching!)
Y – Yahoo, ya-ya
Z – Zany

There’s also the fun crazies who are: madcap, frivolous, ditzy, saucy, topsy-turvy, wild… and from above: wacky, and zany – these are harmless crazies you’d like to hang out with.

People who are bonkers can be these nouns: card, pistol, loon, cuckoo, nutcase, case study, crackers, bananas, bats, fruitcake.

They can be doing other things: out to lunch, waiting for the wagon (men in white coats), zoning out, losing their marbles, flying high, marching to a different drummer, coming from left field, going solo… even "talking to God" (normal for some but don't tell the shrink, or you may be "certifiable")

There’s been a lengthy list of mental euphemisms circulating on the net since the 80’s called “full deck-isms” (someone didn’t know the word euphemism). Of the thousand or so entries, these are the more humorous entries.

He’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
He couldn’t pour water out of a boot with the instructions on the heel.
He doesn’t just “know nothing”; he doesn’t even suspect anything.
He has a one-way ticket on the Disoriented Express.
He fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
He’s so dense that light bends around him. [Quantum physics joke]
I’d like to buy him for what’s he’s worth, and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.
If he gets any denser, the geocentric theory of the universe will come true.
If what you don’t know can’t hurt you, he’s practically invulnerable.
If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
He is living proof that nature does not abhor a vacuum.
He is proof that evolution actually can go in reverse.
If he raced fifty yards with a pregnant woman, he’d come in third.
He’s so thick that mind readers charge him half price.
She suffers from Clue Deficit Disorder.
The twinkle in his eyes is actually the sun shining through his ears.
He’s unclear which of Newton’s three laws keeps his ears apart.
He’s as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

Here are some new ones that I’ve added:
From Anthony Weller’s book The Siege of Salt Cove: “His boots are not laced all the way to the top.”
From jazz-blues singer Mose Allison: “His mind is on vacation and his mouth is working overtime.”
From Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden: “All in my head? Well, you can look up there all you want and you know what you’ll find? Nothing!”

_____________ (c)2009, William L. Sinclair ____________

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From the tv show Firefly: "[She's] a bit whimsical in the brain-pan." "[She's] getting more colorful by the minute."