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psychological condition

Stir crazy (condition)

This articles describes the psychological condition. For other meanings see Stir crazy (disambiguation).

Stir crazy is a phrase that dates to 1908 according to the Oxford English Dictionary and the online Etymology Dictionary. Used among inmates in prison, it referred to a prisoner who became mentally unbalanced because of prolonged incarceration. It is based upon the slang stir (1851) to mean prison.

It is now used to refer to anyone that becomes restless from being stuck in one place too long, with a similar meaning to cabin fever.


  • "Dictionary of American Underworld Lingo" (Twayne Publishers, 1950)

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