have bats in the belfry(redirected from Bats in the belfry)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
have bats in the belfry
To be crazy; to act, think, or behave in a foolish or nonsensical manner. Tommy must have bats in the belfry if he thinks he can convince our mother to let him get a tattoo for his birthday. There's an old lady who stands on the corner yelling at strangers all day. I think she might have bats in the belfry.
bats in one's belfry, have
Be crazy or at least very eccentric, as in Sally thought her aunt's belief in ghosts indicated she had bats in her belfry. This term in effect likens the bat's seemingly erratic flight in the dark to ideas flying around in a person's head. [Early 1900s]
have bats in the belfryor
have bats in your belfryOLD-FASHIONED
If someone has bats in the belfry they are crazy. Don't say that to anyone else or they'll think you've got bats in the belfry! Note: The belfry is the top part of a church tower where the bells are kept, and bats resting there would fly about wildly when disturbed by the bells being rung. In this expression, the belfry represents the person's head.
have bats in the (or your) belfrybe eccentric or crazy. informal
This expression refers to the way in which bats in an enclosed space fly about wildly if they are disturbed.
c. 1901 G. W. Peck Peck's Red-Headed Boy They all thought a crazy man with bats in his belfry had got loose.