(as) crazy as a coot(redirected from crazy as a coot)
(as) crazy as a coot
Insane or eccentric. Often used jocularly. Don't leave me alone with Uncle Stu—he's crazy as a coot! I know some of my students think I'm as crazy as a coot because of my weird methods.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
crazy as a coot/loon
Lunatic behavior. The simile to the water bird dates from the sixteenth century, when John Skelton (Phyllyp Sparowe, 1529) wrote, “the mad coote, with a balde face to toote.” It is not known whether the craziness refers to the bird’s strange behavior in winter, when flocks of coots on a frozen pond sometimes fly wildly at one another, or to the senile behavior of the very old. (See also bald as a coot.) A related ornithological simile is crazy as a loon, probably derived from the weird loud cry of this bird. However, loony for “crazy” comes not from the bird but from lunatic, in turn related to the ancient belief that the phases of the moon (Latin luna) influence human behavior.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer