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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

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


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
References in periodicals archive ?
Several hypotheses explaining intra- and interspecific interactions involving Hoary Bats have been suggested.
In 2011, 7% of bats tested in Kentucky were positive for rabies virus (KDPH, unpublished data, 2012).
The bats must meet their strict quality standards after being manufactured.
For more information about bats, how to study them and how to create bat-friendly habitats, visit the following websites:
Once infected, bats get a white fuzzy growth on their noses.
They are also heavy, a result of having to share a full-sized bat with his brother when he was a kid.
The majority of bats found in caves and mines are known as little brown bats, according to French.
Long term population trends help to inform conservation work and give us a clearer picture of the state of the UK's bats - and of our environment as a whole.
To measure the length of its tongue, Muchhala encouraged the bat to drink sugar water through a drinking straw.
DUVV infection was recently confirmed in a 77-year-old man with type 2 diabetes who was scratched on the face by what appears to have been an insectivorous bat in February 2006 in North West Province, South Africa, [approximately equal to] 80 km from the location where the first DUVV infection occurred 36 years earlier.
We have fewer oak trees and a lot of habitat has been converted, not so much to housing, but to shopping centers where light attracts insects away from the natural areas where bats feed,'' said Ian Swift, superintendent at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.
For centuries, bats have been considered the "familiars" of witches and evil creatures from the netherworld.
At the bridge, seeing or having contact with bats [RR = 7.
Since we believe in developing the hitter's swing in the cage area, we spend much of our time working on tee stations, short toss, flat bats, etc.
Supposedly, less available vegetation for fruit-eating bats, along with "greater availability of livestock .