What does it mean for something to be "crazy"?

Crazy person


This is going to be a crazy article.

The word "crazy" has come to have a lot of different meanings and be used in a lot of different ways.

Crazy people

Let's start with the most basic meaning. "Crazy" means "insane". Someone who doesn't see reality the same way as the rest of us is "crazy". You can be crazy, or you can go (become) crazy:

My uncle is kind of crazy.

She went a little crazy after their divorce.

There are some words that you can use along with "crazy" to show that you mean "insane":

That guy is batshit crazy.

He is legitimately crazy.

But there are also other, more positive meanings of "crazy". Someone who likes to have fun and act a little wild can also be called "crazy":

A: Oh, you know Carlos? That guy is crazy.

B: Yeah, he loves to party.

And you can call someone "crazy" who jokes a lot:

A: Hey Bonita, look at this. (Makes a funny face)

B: Oh Martin, you're so crazy!

Crazy ideas

We can call ideas "crazy". A "crazy" idea might be something that's outside of the commonly accepted reality:

A: He believes that aliens built the great pyramids in Egypt.

B: That's crazy.

Or it might be hard to believe:

That house cost over a million dollars? That's crazy!

You're moving to Canada? That's crazy! When did you decide that?

A creative idea can be called "crazy" too:

Here's a crazy idea: what if we put the sofa over there next to the window and move the TV over here?

 This might seem crazy, but how would you like to come and work for me?

Crazy situations and feelings

If you really like something, you can say that you're "crazy for it" or "crazy about it":

I'm crazy about you. You know that.

Estelle is crazy for seafood: lobster, crabs, squid, all that stuff.

On the other hand, if you can say that you don't like something:

A: What do you think of this one?

B: Uh... I'm not crazy about it.

When you're busy, you can talk about how "crazy" things are:

I'm sorry I didn't respond to your message sooner. Things have been crazy at work lately.

You can also talk about a situation that's distracting:

I can't get much done there. It's a little too crazy, with all the phones ringing and people chatting with each other non-stop.

If something really bothers or annoys you, you can say that it "drives you crazy":

I can't stand that song. It drives me crazy!

Crazy as an adverb

In recent years, "crazy" has come to mean "very":

It's crazy hot out there!

That place is crazy expensive.

This way of using "crazy" came from hip-hop culture, so some older people might not use "crazy" as an adverb. 

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