WIX: Bats in the Belfry

Halloween approaches, slowly creeping, ever slowly…

GOTCHA! Actually, the supermarket got you first!

This time of year brings out the crazies, and I look forward to getting older for just that reason – madness that can be dismissed with age! “She’s got bats in the belfry!” they’ll cry out as I skip by in my rain boots and bathing suit! In Germany one could say “Sie hat nicht alle Tassen im Schrank.” She doesn’t have all her cups in the cupboard. In England or Australia you might hear “off her chump“. I get the meaning, but on its own ‘chump’ means an ‘idiot’ or ‘fool’. So, to follow my sidetracked mind, I swooped around the internet and found and extracted this from The Word Detective:

The initial meaning of “chump” when it first appeared in print in 1680 was “a lump of wood chopped or sawed off a bigger piece,” i.e., an end-piece or trimming. The source of “chump” is, alas, uncertain, but one possible source is an Old Norse word “kumba,” meaning “block of wood,” perhaps influenced in English by the form of such words as “lump” and “stump.” In the 19th century, “chump” was used to mean the blunt end of anything (“As if they had been unskilfully cut off the chump-end of something,” Great Expectations, Dickens, 1861), as well as being slang for the human head.

Hope that doesn’t set me up for the follow-up cry at my passing: “Off with ‘er ‘ead!

Boo!

 

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