Go Stir Crazy | English Idioms

To go stir crazy is to become upset and nervous because you have been confined to a place for too long.

  • “This fever has forced me to stay at home. I haven’t stepped out in several days.” “No wonder you are going stir crazy.”
  • I will go stir-crazy if I don’t get out of this place.
  • It is no wonder she is going stir-crazy. She hasn’t stepped out even once in the last few months.
  • I promised my wife that I would take care of the kids while she was away on a business tour, but I went stir-crazy after a few days.
  • People often go stir-crazy during the rainy season because they get fewer opportunities to go out.


Stir is an informal word used for prison in American English. It isn’t uncommon for prisoners to go mad because of the forced confinement. That means they would often go stir-crazy. Nowadays this expression is used to refer to frustration arising out of any confinement.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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