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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.
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."
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.
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?
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
See also: bats
have bats in one’s belfry(...ˈbɛlfri)
tv. to be crazy. (see also bats. Have got can replace have.) Pay no attention to her. She has bats in her belfry.
have bats in (one's) belfry
To behave in an eccentric, bizarre manner.