have bats in (one's) belfry


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
See also: bats, belfry, have
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

have bats in (one's) belfry

To behave in an eccentric, bizarre manner.
See also: bats, belfry, have
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also: