30 Metaphors for Crazy + Quiz


We’re diving into the world of phrases that people often use to describe, well, craziness or eccentric behavior. You know those expressions that make you chuckle or raise an eyebrow?

We’re talking about those, and we’re going to explore what they really mean and how you can use them in everyday conversation. So, buckle up for a wild ride through the colorful and quirky side of language!

metaphors for crazy

What is a Metaphor for Crazy?

Before we jump into our list, let’s clear up something important. A metaphor is a figure of speech where you describe something by comparing it to something else, usually in a way that’s vivid or imaginative. It’s not a literal comparison but a symbolic one.

When we say someone is “crazy” using a metaphor, we’re not being clinical. Instead, we’re using playful or hyperbolic language to express that someone is behaving in an unusual, unpredictable, or eccentric manner.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

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Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

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What is an adjective?

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Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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What is an abbreviation?

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What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

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What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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Now, let’s have some fun with these metaphors!

Here’s a table summarizing the metaphors for “crazy” along with their meanings and example sentences:

MetaphorMeaningExample Sentence
Off the Deep EndBehaving in an extreme or uncontrolled way.“Ever since Jake started believing in alien invasions, he’s really gone off the deep end.”
Loony as a TuneActing as wacky or nonsensical as a cartoon character.“Running around the office in a superhero cape? He’s as loony as a tune!”
Nutty as a FruitcakeBizarre behavior, akin to a fruitcake full of nuts and fruits.“She’s talking to her plants again, nutty as a fruitcake.”
Bats in the BelfryThoughts all over the place, erratic.“He’s got more conspiracy theories than I can count – definitely bats in the belfry.”
Mad as a HatterBehaving irrationally, akin to hat makers affected by mercury.“Arguing with the TV again, he’s as mad as a hatter.”
Not Playing with a Full DeckLacking in mental faculties, like a deck missing cards.“Thinking he can outrun his shadow? He’s not playing with a full deck.”
Out of One’s MindBehaving beyond normal reasoning.“She sold her car for a handful of magic beans, totally out of her mind!”
Riding the Crazy TrainActing wildly or unpredictably.“Ever since he started that new diet, he’s been riding the crazy train.”
Lost One’s MarblesLost their wits, like scattered marbles.“I can’t believe he’s going snorkeling in a thunderstorm. He’s definitely lost his marbles.”
One Sandwich Short of a PicnicMissing something crucial in thinking, like a picnic missing a sandwich.“He’s trying to invent a water-proof sponge, clearly one sandwich short of a picnic.”
A Few Fries Short of a Happy MealThought process lacking in some way, like a Happy Meal missing fries.“She thinks cats can secretly talk. Sounds like she’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.”
Round the BendActing in an irrational or bizarre manner.“He’s been talking to his shadow all morning, totally round the bend.”
Playing with a Few Screws LooseBehavior is erratic or unstable, like a machine with loose screws.“Building a rocket in the backyard? He’s playing with a few screws loose.”
Up the Creek Without a PaddleIn a difficult situation without easy escape, like being stranded in a creek.“He’s trying to cook a five-course meal with no ingredients. Definitely up the creek without a paddle.”
Running Around like a Headless ChickenFrantic, unthinking behavior, like a headless chicken.“She’s been running around like a headless chicken all morning trying to find her phone.”
Flying Off the HandleLosing control or getting extremely angry suddenly.“He flew off the handle when he couldn’t find his favorite socks.”
Touched in the HeadThinking or behavior is a little unusual or eccentric.“Believing in fairies at his age? He’s a bit touched in the head.”
A Few Cards Shy of a Full DeckLack of common sense or rational thought.“She’s planning to sunbathe during a snowstorm, definitely a few cards shy of a full deck.”
In the Twilight ZoneExperiencing or exhibiting bizarre, surreal behavior.“He’s convinced his dog is a secret agent. Sounds like he’s in the Twilight Zone.”
Dropped Off the Deep EndA sudden plunge into irrational or extreme behavior.“She’s given up technology to live like a cavewoman, definitely dropped off the deep end.”
Off One’s RockerBehaving as if they’ve fallen off a rocking chair, acting crazy.“Talking to his plants and naming them, he’s surely off his rocker.”
Out to LunchMind is elsewhere, like being out to lunch when you should be focused.“He’s planning to start a business selling ice in Antarctica, clearly out to lunch.”
Gone BananasWild or silly behavior, like monkeys with bananas.“She’s dancing in the rain like no one’s watching, totally gone bananas.”
WackoWeird, bizarre, or irrational manner.“Building a spaceship in his garage? That’s just wacko.”
Loopy as a Roller CoasterBehavior full of unpredictable twists and turns.“He’s changing his career path every week, as loopy as a roller coaster.”
BonkersActing in a wild, crazy, or out-of-the-ordinary way.“She’s making a sweater for her fish, absolutely bonkers.”
Lost the PlotLost track of rational thinking or reality, like losing the plot of a story.“He’s convinced he’s a time-traveler, definitely lost the plot.”
Three Sheets to the WindActing in a disoriented, uncontrolled manner, originally a nautical term.“Wandering around talking to streetlights, he’s three sheets to the wind.”
Out of One’s TreeBehaving in an odd or eccentric way, like being out on a limb of a tree.“She’s practicing bird calls at midnight, totally out of her tree.”
Off the WallUnusual, unconventional, or bizarre behavior or ideas.“Inventing a language only he understands, that’s completely off the wall.”

“Crazy” is like a rollercoaster ride, full of unexpected twists and turns. You can discover more comparisons like this in a list of similes for “crazy” here: Similes for Crazy. And when it comes to expressions about “crazy” behavior or situations, there are idioms that capture the unpredictability and eccentricity associated with such situations, which you can explore in this collection: Idioms for Crazy.

Metaphors for Crazy

1. Off the Deep End

Meaning: This phrase suggests someone is behaving in an extreme or uncontrolled way, like diving into the deep end of a pool without hesitation.

In a Sentence: “Ever since Jake started believing in alien invasions, he’s really gone off the deep end.”

2. Loony as a Tune

Meaning: This catchy phrase implies someone is acting as wacky or nonsensical as a cartoon character.

In a Sentence: “Running around the office in a superhero cape? He’s as loony as a tune!”

3. Nutty as a Fruitcake

Meaning: This metaphor compares someone’s bizarre behavior to a fruitcake, which is often packed with an assortment of nuts and fruits.

In a Sentence: “She’s talking to her plants again, nutty as a fruitcake.”

4. Bats in the Belfry

Meaning: Imagine a belfry (a bell tower) full of erratic, fluttering bats. This phrase suggests someone’s thoughts are all over the place.

In a Sentence: “He’s got more conspiracy theories than I can count – definitely bats in the belfry.”

5. Mad as a Hatter

Meaning: Stemming from the hat-making industry, where mercury exposure caused erratic behavior, this phrase indicates someone is behaving irrationally.

In a Sentence: “Arguing with the TV again, he’s as mad as a hatter.”

6. Not Playing with a Full Deck

Meaning: This card game metaphor implies that someone is lacking all their mental faculties, like a deck missing some cards.

In a Sentence: “Thinking he can outrun his shadow? He’s not playing with a full deck.”

7. Out of One’s Mind

Meaning: This straightforward metaphor suggests someone is behaving in a way that’s beyond normal reasoning.

In a Sentence: “She sold her car for a handful of magic beans, totally out of her mind!”

8. Riding the Crazy Train

Meaning: Imagine a train off its rails. This metaphor describes someone acting wildly or unpredictably.

In a Sentence: “Ever since he started that new diet, he’s been riding the crazy train.”

9. Lost One’s Marbles

Meaning: This playful phrase suggests someone has lost their wits, like marbles scattered and lost.

In a Sentence: “I can’t believe he’s going snorkeling in a thunderstorm. He’s definitely lost his marbles.”

10. One Sandwich Short of a Picnic

Meaning: This metaphor implies that someone is missing something crucial in their thinking, like a picnic missing a sandwich.

In a Sentence: “He’s trying to invent a water-proof sponge, clearly one sandwich short of a picnic.”

11. A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

Meaning: Similar to the previous one, this suggests someone’s thought process is lacking in some way, akin to a Happy Meal missing a few fries.

In a Sentence: “She thinks cats can secretly talk. Sounds like she’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.”

12. Round the Bend

Meaning: This phrase suggests someone is acting in an irrational or bizarre manner, like taking an unexpected turn around a bend.

In a Sentence: “He’s been talking to his shadow all morning, totally round the bend.”

13. Playing with a Few Screws Loose

Meaning: This mechanical metaphor implies that someone’s behavior is erratic or unstable, like a machine with loose screws.

In a Sentence: “Building a rocket in the backyard? He’s playing with a few screws loose.”

14. Up the Creek Without a Paddle

Meaning: This metaphor suggests someone is in a difficult situation without the means to easily escape it, much like being stranded in a creek.

In a Sentence: “He’s trying to cook a five-course meal with no ingredients. Definitely up the creek without a paddle.”

15. Running Around like a Headless Chicken

Meaning: This farmyard metaphor describes frantic, unthinking behavior, much like a chicken might act after losing its head.

In a Sentence: “She’s been running around like a headless chicken all morning trying to find her phone.”

16. Flying Off the Handle

Meaning: This phrase suggests losing control or getting extremely angry suddenly, like a tool flying off its handle.

In a Sentence: “He flew off the handle when he couldn’t find his favorite socks.”

17. Touched in the Head

Meaning: An old-fashioned way of saying someone’s thinking or behavior is a little unusual or eccentric.

In a Sentence: “Believing in fairies at his age? He’s a bit touched in the head.”

18. A Few Cards Shy of a Full Deck

Meaning: Similar to not playing with a full deck, this implies a lack of common sense or rational thought.

In a Sentence: “She’s planning to sunbathe during a snowstorm, definitely a few cards shy of a full deck.”

19. In the Twilight Zone

Meaning: Borrowed from the famous TV series, this phrase suggests someone is experiencing or exhibiting bizarre, surreal behavior.

In a Sentence: “He’s convinced his dog is a secret agent. Sounds like he’s in the Twilight Zone.”

20. Dropped Off the Deep End

Meaning: Similar to going off the deep end, this implies a sudden plunge into irrational or extreme behavior.

In a Sentence: “She’s given up technology to live like a cavewoman, definitely dropped off the deep end.”

21. Off One’s Rocker

Meaning: This old saying suggests someone is behaving as if they’ve fallen off a rocking chair – in other words, acting crazy.

In a Sentence: “Talking to his plants and naming them, he’s surely off his rocker.”

22. Out to Lunch

Meaning: This phrase playfully suggests someone’s mind is elsewhere, like being out to lunch when you should be focused.

In a Sentence: “He’s planning to start a business selling ice in Antarctica, clearly out to lunch.”

23. Gone Bananas

Meaning: This fruity metaphor implies wild or silly behavior, like the chaos of a bunch of monkeys with bananas.

In a Sentence: “She’s dancing in the rain like no one’s watching, totally gone bananas.”

24. Wacko

Meaning: A straightforward term for someone acting in a weird, bizarre, or irrational manner.

In a Sentence: “Building a spaceship in his garage? That’s just wacko.”

25. Loopy as a Roller Coaster

Meaning: This amusement park metaphor suggests someone’s behavior is full of unpredictable twists and turns.

In a Sentence: “He’s changing his career path every week, as loopy as a roller coaster.”

26. Bonkers

Meaning: A fun word for describing someone who’s acting in a wild, crazy, or out-of-the-ordinary way.

In a Sentence: “She’s making a sweater for her fish, absolutely bonkers.”

27. Lost the Plot

Meaning: This metaphor from storytelling implies someone has lost track of rational thinking or reality, much like losing the plot of a story.

In a Sentence: “He’s convinced he’s a time-traveler, definitely lost the plot.”

28. Three Sheets to the Wind

Meaning: Originally a nautical term, it’s now used to describe someone acting in a disoriented, uncontrolled manner.

In a Sentence: “Wandering around talking to streetlights, he’s three sheets to the wind.”

29. Out of One’s Tree

Meaning: This quirky phrase suggests someone is behaving in an odd or eccentric way, like being out on a limb of a tree.

In a Sentence: “She’s practicing bird calls at midnight, totally out of her tree.”

30. Off the Wall

Meaning: This phrase implies behavior or ideas that are unusual, unconventional, or bizarre.

In a Sentence: “Inventing a language only he understands, that’s completely off the wall.”

Here are 10 quiz questions based on the metaphors from the article:

  1. Which metaphor suggests someone is acting as wacky as a cartoon character?
    • A) Off the Deep End
    • B) Loony as a Tune
    • C) Nutty as a Fruitcake
    • D) Bats in the Belfry
  2. “Mad as a hatter” originates from which industry?
    • A) Carpentry
    • B) Hat-making
    • C) Baking
    • D) Farming
  3. What does the metaphor “Not Playing with a Full Deck” imply about a person’s mental faculties?
    • A) They are sharp and attentive.
    • B) They are lacking or incomplete.
    • C) They are extremely intelligent.
    • D) They are overactive.
  4. If someone is described as ‘Riding the Crazy Train’, how are they behaving?
    • A) Calm and rational
    • B) Wildly or unpredictably
    • C) Slow and thoughtful
    • D) Meticulously and carefully
  5. Which metaphor means to lose control or get extremely angry suddenly?
    • A) Flying Off the Handle
    • B) Lost One’s Marbles
    • C) One Sandwich Short of a Picnic
    • D) Up the Creek Without a Paddle
  6. “A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal” is a metaphor for what?
    • A) Being extremely joyful
    • B) Having a thought process that is lacking in some way
    • C) Being financially responsible
    • D) Having a love for fast food
  7. What does “Three Sheets to the Wind” traditionally refer to?
    • A) Being extremely organized
    • B) Acting in a disoriented, uncontrolled manner
    • C) Being environmentally conscious
    • D) Being an avid sailor
  8. If someone has “Gone Bananas”, how are they behaving?
    • A) Very conservatively
    • B) In a wild or silly manner
    • C) With great intelligence
    • D) In a state of deep meditation
  9. The metaphor “Out of One’s Tree” suggests someone is behaving how?
    • A) In an odd or eccentric way
    • B) Extremely logically
    • C) In a physically fit manner
    • D) In a very disciplined way
  10. What does the phrase “Off the Wall” imply about ideas or behavior?
    • A) They are usual and conventional.
    • B) They are unusual, unconventional, or bizarre.
    • C) They are scientifically proven.
    • D) They are based on historical facts.

Conclusion

There you have it – a whirlwind tour through some of the most colorful and humorous metaphors for “crazy.” While these phrases are fun to use, remember, they’re just playful exaggerations. They add spice to our language and help us express the zany, unpredictable aspects of life and human behavior.

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