stark raving mad

(redirected from Stark mad)

stark raving mad

Cliché totally insane; completely crazy; out of control. (Often an exaggeration.) When she heard about what happened at the office, she went stark raving mad. You must be start raving mad if you think I would trust you with my car!
See also: mad, raving, stark

stark raving mad

Totally crazy, as in The constant uncertainty over his job is making him stark raving mad. This term, meaning "completely wildly insane," is used both hyperbolically and literally. Versions of this expression appear to have sprung from the minds of great literary figures. Stark mad was first recorded by poet John Skelton in 1489; stark raving was first recorded by playwright John Beaumont in 1648; stark staring mad was first used by John Dryden in 1693. The current wording, stark raving mad, first appeared in Henry Fielding's The Intriguing Chambermaid in 1734.
See also: mad, raving, stark
References in classic literature ?
And you all love me -- even Aunt Jamesina, who thinks I'm stark mad.
But the Cockney was unabashed, though mad, stark mad.
Men who had been into the cellars, and had staved the casks, rushed to and fro stark mad, setting fire to all they saw--often to the dresses of their own friends--and kindling the building in so many parts that some had no time for escape, and were seen, with drooping hands and blackened faces, hanging senseless on the window-sills to which they had crawled, until they were sucked and drawn into the burning gulf.
Are you mad, my dear, stark mad, that you'd walk into the very place where--No, Charley, no.
About a quarter of an hour after this they came running into the cabin to the surgeon, who was bleeding a Frenchwoman that had fainted, and told him the priest was gone stark mad.
And in the first place, you will be so good as to unsay that story about selling his head, which if true I take to be good evidence that this harpooneer is stark mad, and I've no idea of sleeping with a madman; and you, sir, you I mean, landlord, you, sir, by trying to induce me to do so knowingly, would thereby render yourself liable to a criminal prosecution.
You may see plainly how the family stand in this case, and they would be stark mad if it was my case, as it is my brother's; and for aught I see, it would be my ruin and yours too.
I mean, it's been a full two years since Susan Boyle showed on national television that just because a woman looks as though she shares her home with loads of cats, it doesn't necessarily mean she's stark mad.