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  • Date :
  • 5/13/2013

Go haywire

haywire

Meaning

To go wrong, to become overly excited or deranged.

 

Origin

Hay-wire is the light wire that was used in baling machines to tie up bales of hay. At the turn of the 20th century the expression 'a haywire outfit' began to be used in the USA. This was used to describe companies that patched-up faulty machinery using such wire, rather than making proper long-term fixes. In 1905, The US Forestry Bureau Bulletin described a 'Hay wire outfit' as 'a contemptuous term for loggers with poor logging equipment'.

By 1920, the use of haywire to mean 'awry' or 'out of control' was recorded in Dialect Notes, Volume 82:

"Hay wire. Gone wrong or no good. Slang."

 

Examples:

Sorry, I guess I just went haywire for a minute.

I'm afraid my car's gone haywire. It won't start.

I was talking to Mary when suddenly the telephone went haywire. I haven't heard from her since. There we were, driving along, when the engine went haywire. It was two hours before the tow truck came.

My CD player goes haywire every time my neighbour uses his cordless phone.


Sources:

phrases.org.uk

dictionary.reference.com

idioms.thefreedictionary.com


Other Links:

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