the ninth word herd

Crotchety — given to crotchets: subject to whims, crankiness or ill temper. (1825) “Crotchet” means a small hook, a brooch, a peculiar device, or a highly individual and usually eccentric opinion or preference which may result in the aforesaid crankiness.


Duffle — a coarse heavy woolen material with a thick nap, or a slang word for a sailor’s belongings, otherwise known as a seabag. Today, a “duffle bag” is typically canvas, and used for carrying sports gear and similar bulky objects. The name comes from Duffel, a town in Flanders, Belgium, where the thick duffel cloth originated in the 1600s.


Go bananas — to become very excited or angry (1960s). The close association of apes and monkeys with bananas in the Western imagination probably gave rise to the term.


Go doolally — to become insane. The phrase originated as military slang referring to “Deolali,” an Indian town where a military sanatorium was located. (1925)


Goofy — (1) being crazy, ridiculous, silly or harmlessly eccentric (2) in surfing and other board sports, having the right leg in front of the left on the board  (3) an animated character that first appeared in 1932’s Mickey’s Revue. Named for his clumsiness and ineptitude, he is an anthropomorphic dog characterized as a hick with a southern drawl.


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