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be (as) mad as a hatter

1. To be crazy. Tim has been behaving very erratically lately, so I'm afraid that he's as mad as a hatter.
2. To be very angry. Mom was mad as a hatter after I dented her brand-new car.
See also: hatter, mad

*mad as a hatter

 and *mad as a march hare 
1. crazy. (Alludes to the crazy characters in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. *Also: as ~.) Poor old John is as mad as a hatter. All these screaming children are driving me mad as a hatter.
2. angry. (This is a misunderstanding of mad in the first sense. *Also: as ~.) You make me so angry! I'm as mad as a hatter. John can't control his temper. He's always mad as a hatter.
See also: hatter, mad

be as mad as a hatter

to be crazy
Usage notes: A long time ago, people who made hats used a substance that gave them an illness which made people think they were crazy.
Her brother's as mad as a hatter.
See also: hatter, mad

mad as a hatter

Also, mad as a March hare. Crazy, demented, as in She is throwing out all his clothes; she's mad as a hatter. This expression, dating from the early 1800s, alludes to exposure to the chemicals formerly used in making felt hats, which caused tremors and other nervous symptoms. The variant, dating from the 14th century, alludes to the crazy behavior of hares during rutting season, mistakenly thought to be only in March.
See also: hatter, mad

mad as a hatter

Crazy. The standard explanation comes from the effect to the brain caused by mercury nitrate used by 18th- and 19th-century hatmakers. Another view holds that “mad” originally meant “poisonous” and “hatter” is a corruption of the Saxon word “atter,” the adder snake, the bite of which affects the brain. In any event, the Mad Hatter character in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is a testimony to eccentricity bordering on madness.
See also: hatter, mad
References in periodicals archive ?
But the Hatters held on for victory after they had dominated the first half.
Big home fixtures include their last game of the season in March when they face Rhondda Rebels, who will be competing in Europe this season, and league winners Sheffield Hatters on December 1.
Members of the Ambion Bonsai Club will now be holding monthly meetings at the Hatters Space Community Centre, in Upper Abbey Street, Nuneaton.
Portsmouth midfielder Marc Wilson could make his debut for the Hatters after joining the club on a short-term loan deal.
Red Hatters have strong, powerful voices," says Debra Granich, CEO of the Red Hat Society.
Hatters Space Learndirect Centre offers qualifications in English, maths and computing.
Captain Kevin Nicholls gave The Hatters the lead from the penalty spot after Rowan Vine was tripped in the box by Richard Wood.
January 7 v Manchester Mystics (a), 14 TBC, 21 v Sheffield Hatters Under-20 (a), 28 v Nottingham Wildcats (a).
Ladies Knockout Cup final: Carlylian Breakaways 271 (59, 53, 44, 64, 51), J Hoyle 29, D Hinton 28, Mad Hatters 284 (61, 54, 52, 60, 57), Z Mortimore 28, L Lock 27.
In injury-time, Craddock broke clear for Luton, but was denied by a fine block by Burch meaning the Hatters could be relegated on Monday if results do not go their way.
PHOTO (1--2--color) Above, Gertrude Gibson, 87, left, and Elizabeth Janiszewski, 70, of the Mad Hatters crochet hats for children's charities at the Moorpark Senior Center on Monday, while Barbara Withers, at left, crochets a green cap to be donated.
The half-time interval seemed to do the home side good and the Hatters came out with greater purpose at the start of the second period.
The Hatters are away to Nottingham Wildcats tonight.
But after a dramatic week which has seen the new owners sack boss Joe Kinnear and assistant Mick Harford both Terrell and Power have called an end to their involvement with the Hatters.
The Hatters set the early pace as the Rebels stuttered in the opening minutes and trailed by as much as 13 points in the opening quarter.