bats in the belfry


bats in the belfry
   mental abnormality
   The phrase covers anything from absentmindedness through eccentricity to madness, when the wild ideas may circle in your head like the mammals in the church tower at twilight:
    Dear man, you've got bats in the belfry. (A. E. W. Mason, 1927)
   Bats and batty are used as adjectives:
    Told him he was bats. (C. Forbes, 1992)
    If two batty old people are soaked in old hatred... what can you do? (L. Thomas, 1997)
   For a native of the Caribbean, a battyboy is a homosexual male:
    However, he kept well clear of West Indian men, whose traditional reaction to 'battyboys', their name for gays, is violent assault. (Fiennes, 1996)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bats\ in\ the\ belfry — • bats in one s belfry • bats in the belfry n. phr. slang Wild ideas in his mind; disordered senses; great mental confusion. When he talked about going to the moon he was thought to have bats in his belfry …   Словарь американских идиом

  • bats in the belfry — Someone with bats in the belfry is crazy or eccentric …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • bats in the belfry — (informal) To be crazy or slightly mad ● bat * * * bats in the (or one s) belfry see bat II …   Useful english dictionary

  • bats in the belfry —    If you say that somebody has bats in the belfry, you mean that they are eccentric or crazy.     He comes up with the craziest ideas he s got bats in the belfry! …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • bats in the belfry — Meaning Crazy. Origin The bats are the erratically flying animals rather than sports equipment. The image is of someone who has bats careering around in his head …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • have bats in the belfry — old fashioned to be crazy. Don t tell anyone else I said that or they ll think I ve got bats in the belfry …   New idioms dictionary

  • have bats in the belfry — ► have bats in the belfry informal be eccentric or mad. Main Entry: ↑bat …   English terms dictionary

  • have bats in the belfry — phrasal : to be foolish, eccentric, or insane * * * have bats in the (or one s) belfry informal be eccentric or crazy …   Useful english dictionary

  • have bats in the belfry — informal be eccentric or mad. → bat around/about …   English new terms dictionary

  • bats in the/your belfry — see ↑belfry • • • Main Entry: ↑bat bats in the/your belfry informal + old fashioned ◇ To have bats in the belfry or (chiefly US) bats in your belfry is to be crazy. an old woman with bats in her belfry [=a crazy/batty old woman] • • • …   Useful english dictionary