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bat an eye

To display a subtle emotional reaction, such as consternation, annoyance, sadness, joy, etc. Generally used in the negative to denote that the person in question did not display even a hint of an emotional response. Mary didn't even bat an eye when I told her I was moving out. That guy is dangerous. I heard he killed a man without batting an eye.
See also: bat, eye

bat around

1. To push an object around playfully. The cat has been batting around that toy for at least an hour.
2. To strike repeatedly. If I see my neighbor batting around his pets, I will call the police. I was small in high school, so I got batted around a bit, but I eventually learned to stand up for myself.
3. To exchange and contemplate ideas or suggestions. We did bat around other ideas, but that's the slogan we liked the best.
4. To wander aimlessly. I doubt he has a job—he's been batting around out West for a while.
5. In baseball, to reach a team's first batter again in a single inning (because all of the team's batters have already batted in the inning). A: "It's still the top of the third inning?" B: "Yeah, the Cubs have batted around."
See also: around, bat

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.
See also: bats, belfry, have

carry (one's) bat

In cricket, to have not gotten out at the end of one team's completed innings. If our best player can carry his bat, then we have a good chance to win the game.
See also: bat, carry

old bat

A foolish or irritating old person. Ugh, what is that old bat complaining about today?
See also: bat, old

bat out

To produce or create something very hastily. A noun or pronoun can be used between "bat" and "out." A: "I can't believe he batted out three papers in one day." B: "I bet he doesn't get very good grades on them though."
See also: bat, out

have bats in (one's) belfry

To be crazy; to act, think, or behave in a foolish or nonsensical manner. Tommy has bats in his 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 her belfry.
See also: bats, belfry, have

bat something around

1. Lit. to knock something around with a bat or something similar. Terry spent a little time batting a ball around, then he went home. Let's bat around some balls before we go home.
2. Fig. to discuss something back and forth. Let's bat this around a little bit tomorrow at our meeting. Do you want to bat around this matter a little more?
See also: around, bat

have bats in one's belfry

Inf. Fig. to be crazy. You must really have bats in your belfry if you think I'll put up with that kind of stuff. Pay no attention to her. She has bats in her belfry.
See also: bats, belfry, have

bat around

1. Hit something around, often with a baseball bat or other object, as in We batted the tennis ball around this morning. Originating in baseball, this term came to be applied to more violent action as well, as in Jerry left after being batted around by his father. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
2. Discuss or debate something, as in We batted the various plans around for at least an hour before we came to a decision. This usage transfers batting a ball to a back-and-forth exchange of ideas. [Slang; late 1800s]
3. Drift aimlessly, roam, as in After graduating, they batted around Europe for a year. [Slang; c. 1900]
See also: around, bat

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]
See also: bats, have

have bats in the belfry


have bats in your belfry

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.
See also: bats, belfry, have

have bats in the (or your) belfry

be 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.
See also: bats, belfry, have

have ˌbats in the ˈbelfry

(old-fashioned, informal) be crazy or eccentric
See also: bats, belfry, have

bat around

1. To knock something around with or as if with a bat, hand, or similar object: We batted around some baseballs at the park. The cat batted the squeaky toy around the entire afternoon.
2. To discuss something back and forth in order to come to a decision: They batted around ideas all night before they made up their minds. We batted a few names around when thinking about nominees.
See also: around, bat

bat out

To produce something in a hurried or informal manner: The new store owner batted out thank-you notes to his first customers all morning. I don't have time before the big party to bake hundreds of cookies, but I think I can bat a few dozen out.
See also: bat, out


1. and batty mod. crazy. You are driving me batty! You are bats if you think I would ever wear a haircut like that.
2. and batty mod. alcohol intoxicated; confused and drunk. The guy was bats—stewed to his ears. He was a bit batty, but he’d been drinking since noon, so no one was surprised.
3. and the bats n. the delirium tremens. (Always with the.) My buddy is shaking because of a slight case of the bats.

the bats

See bats
See also: bats

have bats in one’s belfry

tv. to be crazy. (see also bats. Have got can replace have.) Pay no attention to her. She has bats in her belfry.
See also: bats, belfry, have

have bats in (one's) belfry

To behave in an eccentric, bizarre manner.
See also: bats, belfry, have

bats in one's belfry, to have

To be slightly crazy or quite eccentric. The term alludes to the bat’s seemingly erratic flight in the dark, which is transferred to thoughts flying about in the head. In reality, the bat has a sophisticated sonar system whose nature came to light only recently. In flight it keeps up a constant twittering noise that bounces back from solid objects in its path. This echo enables the animal to avoid actually bumping into obstacles. Nevertheless, bats have long been associated with craziness. See also blind as a bat.
See also: bats, have
References in periodicals archive ?
Explain that many bats have very good hearing that helps them find things, especially food.
1 g) in the net nearest to where the bats had been observed on the ground.
Bat World Sanctuary was founded in 1994 and is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to provide a permanent sanctuary for non-releasable bats and to protect and conserve wild bat colonies.
Pest control professionals reported finding a colony of 200-300 big brown bats roosting above the ceiling tiles of the volunteer and staff member sleeping quarters.
Today, however, half of the major league bats made by Louisville Slugger are maple, thanks in part to Barry Bonds who in 2001 broke the single-season home run record using a bat made from maple wood (Terdiman, 2008).
Whilst they are unlikely to be able to observe bats during school time, children may observe them in the early evening as bats are crepuscular: they mainly hunt at dawn and dusk when flying insects are the most active.
Bats release guano as they fly, which is a natural fertilizer and feeds the soil, she said.
A lot of manufacturers give him handmade bats because it looks good for them to say they made a bat for Tendulkar," Solomons said.
However, Jamie Terry of the Northboro Board of Health suggested if residents have bats in their house, they need to "talk with a professional about bat-proofing your home.
Jaime Eastham of the BCT said, 'Finding out that you share living space with bats can be a bit of a shock, mainly because of the myths that bats can get stuck in your hair, bite you and suck your blood.
If there were a prize for animal rudeness, a small South American bat would surely be in the running.
To measure tongue extension, Muchhala encouraged bats to sip sugar water from drinking straws.
Although instances of persons seeking rabies prophylaxis after exposure to bats have been reported, the recent case of DUVV infection constitutes only the second known instance of a person in South Africa with lyssavirus infection after such an encounter.
Consider, for instance, the persistent notion--held in one version or another throughout the world--that bats have a tendency, if not outright inclination, to swoop down on humans and become entangled in our hair.