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    #1

    to go nuts

    to go nuts
    to go mad
    to become crazy
    to become insane

    Do they all mean the same and which are more common, especially in American English?

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to go nuts

    Yes, they all have about the same meaning, but in AmE you also 'go' crazy/insane, versus 'become'.

    They're all commonly used, but according to this Ngram, the order of frequency is crazy, mad, nuts, an insane in decreasing order of use.

    Insane has a slightly more clinical sound to it. Crazy is also widely used as something more of a synonym for 'unbelievable' or 'chaotic', without the strict sense on insanity.


    Really, John's finally getting married? That's crazy, I thought he'd never settle down.
    The grocery story was crazy this morning, it was so crowded.




    To a lesser extent, I sometimes hear it used as a synonym for something like 'very' or 'incredibly'.

    It was crazy hot this afternoon, it hit 104.

    Current slang may still be using 'cray cray', derived from crazy, meaning again 'really crazy', often though in a sarcastic sense.

    There was a fad for a while (not sure if it's still so popular) to abbreviate words, so you'd hear things like 'cray' and 'evs (ever), as in like, "what evs, I'm out."

    Edit. Also, you can use 'go nuts' to mean something like do a task/job in a frenzied manner, or to go overboard (to an extreme) in doing something.

    Wow, Jane really went nuts on the party decorations, didn't she?
    Last edited by Skrej; 21-Jun-2016 at 01:43. Reason: typos, extra info, then more typos
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    #3

    Re: to go nuts

    So if i talk about someone who has real mental health issues, "He has gone insane." fits better than "'He has gone crazy/mad/nuts."?

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: to go nuts

    It would of course depend on the context. If you're writing some kind of paper or article about mental health, then yes I'd probably stick with insane or possibly crazy, maybe even deranged. However those are very broad and vague terms, so if you're writing some kind of report or article, I'd do a little research and try to pin down the specific (or suspected) mental issue, such as depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, dementia, or whatever. (I'm not very well versed on mental health issues.)

    If it's just a casual conversation about somebody, then mad or nuts would probably seem more natural. However, it's common to talk about somebody being crazy when you see them having some kind of mental episode in public.

    Other slang terms would be bonkers, psycho, flipped out, cuckoo, and berserk. A thesaurus will provide you with plenty of terms, some clinical, others more colloquial.
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  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: to go nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    Yes, they all have about the same meaning, but in AmE you also 'go' crazy/insane, versus 'become'.
    It's the same in BrE.

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