Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicPolls & Surveys · 1 decade ago

Where does the name 'Bonkers' originate from?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Entry from OED Online

    bonkers, a. SECOND EDITION 1989


    [Origin unknown.]

    a. (See quot. 1948). b. (The usual current sense.) Mad, 'crackers'.

    1948 PARTRIDGE Dict. Forces' Slang 23 Bonkers, light in the head; slightly drunk. (Navy.) Perhaps from bonk, a blow or punch on the bonce or head. 1957 J. OSBORNE Entertainer v. 37 One Catholic poet who went bonkers. 1961 SIMPSON & GALTON Four Hancock Scripts 60/2 By half-past three he'll be raving bonkers. 1967 Spectator 4 Aug. 130/3 I think you're bonkers 'cos your attitude's all wrong. You're more than bonkers. You're sick.

    Were people bonkers before 1957? Or were they just nuts, loopy, or crackers? The OED has evidence from 1948 of the word being used in Navy slang to mean drunk or light-headed, so there seems to be a connection.

  • 1 decade ago

    The origin of "bonkers" is in some doubt, but the most likely source is "bonk," meaning "a blow to the head," an "echoic" word formed to imitate the actual sound of a knock to the noggin. The "er" suffix was a common element in slang in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and can also be found in the terms "soccer" (short for "association" football administered by the British Football Association) and "rugger" (meaning the game of rugby, named for the Rugby School in England).

  • I do not know, but William Shakespeare invented the word "bump."

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