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The most extreme members or portion of a larger group of people. The group has widely been dismissed as the lunatic fringe of the religion, taking its most fundamentalist aspects and warping them into a cult-like ideology based on prejudice and hate. They're part of some lunatic fringe who believe that eating anything that dwells or grows above ground pollutes the body with toxins.
the lunatics are running the asylum
The people least capable of running a group or organization are now in charge. Said especially when the result is total chaos or calamity. With the primary schools giving their young students complete control over the curriculum, it seems as though the lunatics are running the asylum. After the recent election, a new wave of political extremists have taken power in Congress. It looks like the lunatics are now running the asylum.
the lunatics have taken over the asylum
The people least capable of running a group or organization are now in charge. Said especially when the result is total chaos or calamity. With the primary schools giving their young students complete control over the curriculum, it seems as though the lunatics have taken over the asylum. After the recent election, a new wave of political extremists have taken power in Congress. It looks like the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
the more extreme members of a group. Most of the members of that religious sect are quite reasonable, but Lisa belongs to the lunatic fringe. Many people try to avoid eating a lot of fat, but Mary is part of the lunatic fringe and will eat anything.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
the ˌlunatic ˈfringe(disapproving) members of an organization or group who are more extreme than the others; extreme groups: It’s the lunatic fringe of the Animal Liberation Front which smashes the windows of butchers’ shops, not ordinary members like us.The word lunatic means crazy. It comes from the Latin word luna, meaning ‘moon’, because people believed that the changes in the moon caused temporary madness.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
lunatic fringe, the
A minority group who have what others consider very extreme beliefs. The term was first used (and perhaps coined) by Theodore Roosevelt in History as Literature (1913): “There is apt to be a lunatic fringe among the votaries of any forward movement.” At first used mainly for political extremists, the expression was later extended to other venues, as by Diana Ramsay in Deadly Discretion (1973): “Antique shops were magnets for the lunatic fringe.”
See also: lunatic
lunatics have taken over the asylum, the
The individuals who should be overseen or regulated are running the show. The term appears to have been first used in 1919, when the four most powerful figures in the American film industry—Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith—decided to found their own distribution company, called United Artists. In response the producer Richard Rowland remarked, “The lunatics have taken over the asylum.” The remark got wide publicity and entered the language, subsequently applied to many other situations of a comparable nature and becoming a cliché. In 1981 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer absorbed United Artists but retained the name, but in 2004 Sony Corporation agreed to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the future of United Artists was in doubt.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer