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.
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.ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Jonathon Green