Mad Stuff

I just started a new blog about expats (us) returning home (maybe) which you can find here.  In my first post I used the word loony bin.  Since I wasn’t even sure how to write it (loonie vs. loony) I thought I better say a few words about it.

Probably the most famous movie about a “loony bin: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, pic: onlinewatchmovies.net

A loony bin is where you end up if you have gone certifiably insane or in more politically correct word if you suffer from a serious mental illness.  Since we are already politically correct let’s get it over with and use the proper term for such an institution which is something along the lines of mental health facility, mental health institution.  I am sure there are even more politically correct terms for such places, used especially when a famous or somewhat famous person publicly ends up there – something like “rehabilitation facility” or alike.

Just like other languages, too, – I can vouch for German – there are many words, mostly unkind and politically not correct for mental institutions.  Here are a couple more English one:

nut house – being crazy is also called “being nuts”

funny farm – not sure why it would be so funny

The loony bit is derived from lunatic which is an adjective used to describe mad people (based on the old believe that a full moon will make people crazy, or turn them into werewolves).  Why bin?  I don’t know but since a bin is something where things are kept in a somewhat unorderly fashion the expression probably means just that: place where crazy people are kept.

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