Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(be/go) (mad/crazy/insane/nuts/ballistic)

be madgo madbe crazygo crazybe insanego insanebe nutsgo nutsgo ballistic
Meaning(s)
1) get really excited or angry, lose your temper
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • mad with anger, crazy with excitement
  • Analysis
    When used in a colloquial context to 'go insane', 'go crazy', 'go mad', 'go nuts' and 'go ballistic', can describe irrational anger or losing control. "When I told her I crashed the car, she went ballistic." ('ballistics' refer to firearms or explosives) "If my father found out I like to smoke he would go nuts." If you 'go insane', 'go crazy' or 'go nuts', it can mean to lose control or submit to erratic behaviour. "When the President arrived his supporters went nuts. They screamed and chanted and held up banners." "When I get my holiday this month I'm going to go crazy. I'm going to go to an expensive hotel and go partying every night." "When I asked her to marry me she went insane, shouting and crying and screeching." As you can see from these examples the expressions can be used in a positive or negative context and are very colloquial. These expressions are best used with friends and avoided in formal conversations. In spoken English, the intonation used is very important to convey the appropriate meaning. If you say someone 'is mad' or that they 'are crazy' or 'insane', this has a very negative connotation and will be understood literally.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. When Mom finds out we broke her favourite cup, she'll go mad!
    2. Oh, my God! She's going to go insane when she hears what you did!
    3. My friends will be really mad when they hear that the concert is cancelled. They all bought tickets!
    4. The girls went crazy when they saw each other. They were jumping up and down and hugging each other.
    5. You should buy that dress. It's so cheap, you'd be crazy not to!
    6. I think you'd be mad to travel to that country. It's so dangerous at the moment.
    7. When she came home with eight shopping bags, her husband asked if she had gone nuts.
    8. He went nuts when his favourite team won the playoffs.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. What do you mean, you're quitting your job? Have you gone nuts?
    2. If the local Council blocks her request for Planning Permission again, she'll go ballistic.
    3. The Client will go ballistic if his order doesn't arrive on time. We've promised to make it a high priority.
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