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a nutcase

a crazy person


nutcase = Spinner, Irrer, Verrückter



“MP Sammy Wilson has said he regrets his choice of language after he called Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar “A NUTCASE”.”


Did you


- an insane or very foolish person

(Collins Dictionary)


Nut = the fruit of certain trees and shrubs which have the seed enclosed in a woody covering not opening when ripe - from Old English hnutu, from Proto-Germanic *hnut- (source also of Old Norse hnot, Dutch noot, Old High German hnuz, German Nuss.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary goes to great lengths to classify nutcase:

- a person judged to be legally or medically insane. In other words, this is an "official" nutcase (A NUTCASE ran naked through the downtown streets announcing the end of the world).

- a person of odd or whimsical habits. This is the “eccentric” version (We have a NUTCASE in our house who takes out the rubbish every morning at exactly 05:30).

- a person who lacks good sense or judgment. According to this definition, all of us have been a nutcase at some time in our life. (I felt like a NUTCASE after I jumped into the swimming pool with my mobile phone in my pocket).


The adjective "nuts" has been commonly used since the mid-19th century to describe a crazy person. This usage, which derives from associating the word nut with the head, and thus the mind, actually originated from an older expression "to be nutts upon," (with two t's) meaning to be very fond of someone or something. A similar phrase "to be nuts about" is still in use today (He's nuts about her!).

- If someone is NUTS ABOUT something/someone it means they are a very enthusiastic— sometimes bordering on obsessive—devotee of that particular thing or person.

- To DRIVE SOMEONE NUTS, meaning a person’s annoying or irritating behaviour is responsible for making another, figuratively speaking, lose their mind.

- MIND YOUR NUT! is a well-intentioned colloquial warning to take care not to bump your head.

Practice OWAD in an English conversation, say something like:

"News and social media channels love to focus on NUTCASE stories."

VIELEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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