Old 05-07-2020, 05:44 PM
Can Handle the Truth is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: 480 B.C.
Posts: 911

Going Bananas

Column of May 18, 2018

Cecil completely ignored the most obvious source of the phrase "going bananas": apes going crazy for bananas. I don't have a cite but it's just common sense.
Old 05-07-2020, 08:38 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 32,449
The only thing we know for certain about etymology is that "common sense" has little to do with word history. Tracing a term's history in actual usage is all we can go by.

But you may be right in a roundabout way. Grammarist has this to say:

It is believed that the term going bananas is a term that evolved from the idiom going ape, which also means to go crazy, to explode with anger or to erupt with enthusiasm. The close association of apes and monkeys with bananas in the Western imagination probably gave rise to the term going bananas.
Other word sites give similar answers, but it's notable that none of them can offer anything more than a guess. The actual evolution of the phrase remains unknown.

Here's a link to the original column if you want to play along at home.


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