barmy 1530s, "frothing, covered with barm;" see BARM (Cf. barm) + -Y (Cf. -y) (2). Figurative sense of "excited, flighty, bubbling with excitement" is from c.1600. Meaning "foolish" (1892) is probably an alteration of BALMY (Cf. balmy).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Barmy — Barm y (b[aum]rm [y^]), a. Full of barm or froth; in a ferment. Barmy beer. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • barmy — ► ADJECTIVE (barmier, barmiest) informal, chiefly Brit. ▪ extremely foolish; mad. DERIVATIVES barmily adverb barminess noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «frothy»: from BARM(Cf. ↑B) …   English terms dictionary

  • barmy — [bärm′ē] adj. barmier, barmiest 1. full of barm; yeasty or foamy 2. [Brit. Slang] crazy …   English World dictionary

  • barmy — balmy, barmy These two words come from two roots, although the lines of descent have become intertwined: balmy (meaning ‘deliciously fragrant’) comes from balm (see the entry above) and barmy (as now used colloquially, meaning ‘stupid’) comes… …   Modern English usage

  • barmy — [[t]bɑ͟ː(r)mi[/t]] barmier, barmiest ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you say that someone or something is barmy, you mean that they are slightly crazy or very foolish. [BRIT, INFORMAL] Bill used to say I was barmy, and that would really get to me...… …   English dictionary

  • Barmy — Infobox Settlement official name =Barmy native name = pushpin pushpin mapsize =300 subdivision type = Country subdivision name = flag|Azerbaijan subdivision type1 = Rayon subdivision name1 =Agsu leader title = leader name = established title =… …   Wikipedia

  • Barmy — If someone tells you that you re barmy they mean you have gone mad orcrazy. For example you d have to be barmy to visit England without trying black pudding! …   The American's guide to speaking British

  • barmy — UK [ˈbɑː(r)mɪ] / US [ˈbɑrmɪ] adjective Word forms barmy : adjective barmy comparative barmier superlative barmiest British informal crazy or silly …   English dictionary

  • barmy —    A word which describes a person who is foolish or eccentric, perhaps a little crazy. ‘Barm’ is the froth that forms on the top of fermenting liquors, so ‘barmy’ means frothy headed. The word is used in Britain rather than elsewhere, and is… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • barmy — adjective a) containing barm, i.e. froth from fermented yeast 2004: The movie is sweet enough in its barmy way... Roger Ebert b) dotty, goofy, wacko …   Wiktionary

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