stark raving mad

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(stark) raving mad

Totally crazy or eccentric; filled with an excessive amount of emotion, especially anger or excitement. I know you'll probably think I'm raving mad, but I sold all my possessions and am moving to a small village in China. The announcement drove fans stark raving mad, as it will be the first new album the band has released in over 10 years. The boss is stark raving bonkers after I bungled the expense reports.
See also: mad, raving

stark raving mad

Cliché totally insane; completely crazy; out of control. (Often an exaggeration.) When she heard about what happened at the office, she went stark raving mad. You must be start raving mad if you think I would trust you with my car!
See also: mad, raving, stark

stark raving mad

Totally crazy, as in The constant uncertainty over his job is making him stark raving mad. This term, meaning "completely wildly insane," is used both hyperbolically and literally. Versions of this expression appear to have sprung from the minds of great literary figures. Stark mad was first recorded by poet John Skelton in 1489; stark raving was first recorded by playwright John Beaumont in 1648; stark staring mad was first used by John Dryden in 1693. The current wording, stark raving mad, first appeared in Henry Fielding's The Intriguing Chambermaid in 1734.
See also: mad, raving, stark

stark raving mad

Insane. Literally this term means “completely, wildly crazy,” a graphic description of manic behavior. Versions of it have appeared since the sixteenth century, including Jonathan Swift’s, “There’s difference between staring and stark mad” (Polite Conversation, 1738). More recently, Robert Barnard piled up colloquial synonyms: “‘Mad as a hatter,’ said Gillian Soames complacently. ‘Stark raving bonkers. Up the wall. Round the twist.’” (Death and the Chaste Apprentice, 1989).
See also: mad, raving, stark
References in periodicals archive ?
IN one of those remote Deep South towns, where every other person seems to be stark staring mad, homicidal or both, twitchy single mother Annie (Cate Blanchett) has startling psychic powers.
Anyone, though, who believes that forcing a band of travellers up the M6 in the general direction of Rugby is the answer to the problem must be stark staring mad.
Stark staring mad. This week, they've been sounding off about the "humane slaughter" of "innocent cattle".