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There has been some discussion, particularly on the Retire Early Board, about the use of the word ‘apesh!t’. Incidentally, the word in its original form fails to pass the TMF censors and I would make an argument it should be included in the acceptable column.

My contention is that apesh!t expresses a specific particular not easily articulated by another word or phrase. Saying some went apesh!t denotes something not covered by ‘hysterical’, ‘panic-stricken’, ‘out of control’ or ‘frenzied’. Apesh!t is a class unto its own.

Even ‘going bananas’ doesn’t cover the breadth of apesh!t. Like art, we know apesh!t when we see it – going bananas is milktoast to apesh!t’s beef.

“My Gawd, all I did was show him the e-mail and he went apesh!t,” says more than, “I showed him the e-mail and he was disturbed.” Far more. Now we know because we already know what apesh!t really means: it doesn’t mean ‘disturbed’. It means ‘apesh!t’.

In the early days of television the word ‘pregnant’ was verboten. We used euphemisms such as ‘with child’ or ‘enceinte’. Lord knows ‘knocked up’ was beyond the pale. If Archie Bunker went apesh!t we said he was, in his own way, responding to Meathead’s point of view. Now, on reflection, we know Archie went apesh!t.

Maybe, in a decade or two we may find a word more descriptive than apesh!t but, right now, it fills a niche perfectly.

MichaelR
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Michael Read says

Maybe, in a decade or two we may find a word more descriptive than apesh!t but, right now, it fills a niche perfectly.

There's always "bugf*ck nuts."
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Michael Read says

Maybe, in a decade or two we may find a word more descriptive than apesh!t but, right now, it fills a niche perfectly.

There's always "bugf*ck nuts."

crassfool


Agreed yet the modifier to ‘nuts’ makes ‘bugf*ck nuts’ a compound relying on the modifier’s emphasis on ‘nuts’ to give impetus to ‘nuts’ that ‘apesh!t can do as a single word. Also, raised as a query delineating either, is bugf*ck nuts an equivalent of apesh!t or is one more limiting to observance of a turn of phrase? Fowlers is of absolutely no help on this. It could also be a regional descriptive.

I would also include ‘wrangy’ in this but is it a lesser to bugf*ck nuts and apesh!t. To go wrangy is being off center while bugf*ck nuts and apesh!t mean further than off center. The argument is then is bugf*ck nuts more away from the mark that apesh!t. I would argue going apesh!t is farther out that bugf*ck nuts.

Once a descriptive was, “He has lost all reason,’ and that covered it. We could say, “He went bonkers,” and that that understood. However, times have changed and going apesh!t is a descriptiveness I feel is above that of ‘bugf*ck nuts.

Yours in explaining modern verbiage,

MichaelR
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Once a descriptive was, “He has lost all reason,’ and that covered it. We could say, “He went bonkers,” and that that understood. However, times have changed and going apesh!t is a descriptiveness I feel is above that of ‘bugf*ck nuts.

I have a bull mastiff just shy of 2 years old named Bonkers, and I find it very descriptive in that regard.

I also like batsh*t as an alternative to apesh*t, since it contains the additional connotation of flying as opposed to swinging by the hands.

But that's me.
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I believe the definitive work in this area is the monograph "On Bullsh!t" written by Harry G. Frankfurt.

Ira
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I disagree. Bullsh!t, including that treated by Mr. Frankfurt's monograph, is in my estimation primarily concerned with cunning; whereas apesh!t or batsh!t is concerned with emotional excess, almost diametrically opposed to cunning.

Just because it's all sh!t doesn't mean it all stinks alike.
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