crazy

This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
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crazy

Post by Archived Topic » Mon Feb 01, 1999 12:00 am

Where did the word 'crazy' come from?
Submitted by Dan Berrien (Boston - U.S.A.)
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crazy

Post by Jonathon Green » Tue Feb 02, 1999 8:00 am

Crazy comes from the verb craze, which means originally to break by concussion or violent pressure; to break in pieces or asunder; to shatter and figuratively to impair in intellect; to render insane, drive mad, distract. The ultimate etymology seems to be Swedish 'krasa', to crackle, with possible intermeidary encouragement from French 'écraser', to shatter, to destroy.
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