Tuesday, 26 January 2016

When I go bonkers...

What a great word ‘bonkers’ is. It makes you smile as you say it and although it’s really an insult, it’s actually quite inoffensive. Say it over and over – bonkers, bonkers, bonkers, bonkers, bonkers, bonkers, bonkers, bonkers, bonkers – and it gets even funnier. Say it too often though and it will probably drive you bonkers. Say it to music and the sky’s the limit, innit.

The Oxford Dictionary states that the origin of this delectable word is unknown, although it probably started being used in the 1940’s. Well, it does sound a kind of ‘chocs away’, ‘bandits at three o’clock’ kind of word. “I say old chap, Ginger’s gone completely bonkers just look at how close his Spitfire is to the…. (BOOM). Oh dear, it looks like poor Ginger’s bought it.”

If I’d had money on it I would have said that it was a made-up word. It would be nice if it had been one of Shakespeare’s, “He's bonkers that trusts in the tameness of a shrew”, failing that either Edward Lear or Lewis Caroll. But sadly none of these can lay claim to 'bonkers', although it is attributed to Caroll in a few places on the Web as this:

Mad Hatter: “Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?”
Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

But no, it seems that this quote is from the 2010 "Alice in Wonderland" movie and therefore Tim Burton – who didn’t invent the word either – came up with this one. I’d love to know who actually did invent ‘bonkers’ though and how it came to pass into everyday usage. If it was invented in the forties by a very small boy then the inventor might still be alive. Of course he’d be in a straight jacket, unable to remember his invention, absolutely bonkering bonkers, but alive nonetheless. Now that would be bonkers.

Anyway a quick burst of nonkers on bonkers.

When I go bonkers

When I go bonkers
I’ll carry conkers,
An old car honker,
A fluffy pink monster.
I won’t get sponsors,
Nor be awarded honours,
But a trip to the doctor’s,
Might conquer my bonkers.


  1. Sharon Taylor on FB
    just a small observation, but aren't all words just made up by someone at some point in time?

    1. Andrew Height
      Good point, well made Sharon.

    2. Andrew Height
      Gotta keep you on your toes now you are in your dotage wink emoticon

    3. Sharon Taylor
      absolutely, I don't do a lot of thinking these days! I shall have to study your blogs very closely in future!!!!