go haywire = kaputt gehen, baufällig werden (System, Maschine) haywire = aus den Fugen geraten (eine Situation) haywire = verrückt spielen, durchdrehen, überschnappen (Menschen) --- GOOGLE INDEX haywire: approximately 1,500,000 Google hits
A street in Windermere is causing motorists grief because for some unexplained reason car remote controls and similar devices GO HAYWIRE when they park there.
But unless the stock market GOES HAYWIRE between now and Nov. 4, when Chicago-based Groupon is set to launch on the NASDAQ under the trading symbol GRPN, the long-anticipated Groupon IPO will become a reality.
(International Business Times)
- erratic, out of control
to stop working, often in a way that is very sudden and noticeable
Why should the word for something as functional and mundane as haywire come to be applied to something that is not functioning properly or to a person who is crazy? It would seem a story of semantics gone haywire. Haywire is a compound of the words hay and wire, which simply denoted wire used to tie up bundles (usually called bales) of hay or straw.
Haywire was first recorded as a noun in a debate in the Canadian House of Commons in 1917. That makes it a Canadianism, or since it appeared soon thereafter in a U.S. publication, a North Americanism. It was used even earlier in 1905 in the phrase "hay wire outfit," a contemptuous term for poorly equipped loggers. What lies behind this term is the practice of making repairs with haywire.
Haywire is found in other contexts with the general sense of "makeshift, inefficient," from which come the extended senses "not functioning properly" (My computer went haywire this morning), "out of control" (The paparazzi went haywire when they saw the royal couple) and "crazy" (He'll go haywire when he realizes the meeting was cancelled).
(adapted from the American Heritage Dictionary)
batty, berserk, bonkers, chaotic, confused, defective, disorganized, erratic, in a mess, in pieces, out of control, out of order, out of whack, unglued, unhinged
SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation
"The public viewing crowd went haywire when Germany scored the first goal of the game."
Thanks to Sabine for suggesting today's word!
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