2

I would like to describe something (that I did) as batshit crazy, but that term may not be appropriate in my workplace. (I'm a college professor.) Is there a vivid but non-profane synonym? Even better would be a term that doesn't reference mental illness. (I'm a liberal arts college professor.)

Ten years ago, I would have used the term "ridonculous".

closed as too broad by choster, user66974, cobaltduck, user140086, Mitch Oct 31 '16 at 22:49

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Just say you're stir-crazy. It's obviously apropos and people will understand. – Mick Oct 31 '16 at 16:53
  • 2
    How about harebrained, meaning rash, foolish, or badly thought out? – JLG Oct 31 '16 at 17:02
  • 6
    @Mick- stir crazy means something completely different. It refers to the pent up need to get out of a confining environment whether that is a jail cell or a snowed in cabin, etc. – Jim Oct 31 '16 at 17:03
  • 1
    You could do something crazy, or something really crazy or something really, really crazy. you could do something outlandish. – Jim Oct 31 '16 at 17:05
  • 1
    You went a little Daffy Duck – cobaltduck Oct 31 '16 at 17:14
2

Consider

irrational [OXD],

Not logical or reasonable

unreasonable [OXD],

Not guided by or based on good sense.

ill-advised [OXD], or

Not sensible, wise, or prudent.

bonkers [OXD]

Mad; crazy.

  • 1
    I like "bonkers". The others aren't colorful. – Ellen Spertus Oct 31 '16 at 21:00
2

Batshit crazy is lunatic, perforce, of the moon. Adjective: lunatical

Love's Labour's Lost [V, 1]

Holofernes

1750

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and point-devise companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak dout, fine, when he should say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt,—d, e, b, t, not d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebor; neigh abbreviated ne. This is abhominable,—which he would call abbominable: it insinuateth me of insanie: anne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.

Dear Professor, do, I pray, feed that to your students. :)

2

Love's Labour's Lost [II, 1]

Rosaline

550

Another of these students at that time Was there with him, if I have heard a truth. Biron they call him; but a merrier man, Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour's talk withal: His eye begets occasion for his wit; For every object that the one doth catch The other turns to a mirth-moving jest, Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor, Delivers in such apt and gracious words That aged ears play truant at his tales And younger hearings are quite ravished; [effect of political correctness??] So sweet and voluble is his discourse.

In other words, kids, grow up.

0

The term that comes to mind is 'meteorically eccentric'. The effectiveness of that, however, will depend upon your delivery; if it's written, delivery shouldn't be a problem, but if it's spoken, poise, skilled control of intonation, and timing, will all be central to the phrase's communicative value.

The original, 'batshit crazy', is not an especially worthwhile phrase to start. It relies primarily on shock value, which is undermined by its contemporary familiarity: 'batshit' only serves as an intensifier for 'crazy'. In literal senses, batshit is hugely important, and not at all crazy.

The most straightforward senses of 'meteorically' and 'eccentric' communicated by your phrase would of course be figurative, and because you alone know what you're describing (other than the general sense), it might well be that you could think of a more apt metaphor or simile.

Of 'meteorically eccentric', the nuanced oxymoronic play on literal and figurative senses bolsters the effect. The usual figurative use of meteoric to suggest a rapid rise (in career, reputation, etc.), will always be contradicted by the (literal) experience afforded by personal observations on earth, where meteors are known to fall.

Here is the sense of 'meteorically' intended:

meteorically, adv.
Like a meteor; with the suddenness and speed of a meteor.

["meteorically, adv.". OED Online. September 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/117473?redirectedFrom=meteorically (accessed October 31, 2016).]

Of 'eccentric', figurative and literal senses should be simultaneously in play. The literal, loosely astronomical sense is provoked by the word being modified by another astronomical term ('meteorically'):

eccentric, adj. and n.
....
5. a. Of orbital motion: Not referable to a fixed centre of revolution; ....
....
b. transf. Of a heavenly body: Moving in an orbit deviating (more or less) from a circle.
....
6. fig. Regulated by no central control.
a. Of actions, movements, and things in general: Irregular, anomalous, proceeding by no known method, capricious.
....
b. Of persons and personal attributes: Deviating from usual methods, odd, whimsical.

["eccentric, adj. and n.". OED Online. September 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/59245?redirectedFrom=eccentric (accessed October 31, 2016).]

It should be noted that 'eccentricity', in figurative senses, is ambivalently appreciated. It does not, however, have a necessary relation to mental illness.

0

Let's substitute guano crazy for the OP's batshit crazy. Not quite so profane as the OP.

Guano: is the accumulated excrement of seabirds, seals or cave-dwelling bats [emphasis added] (Wikipedia)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.