8 Words That Are Older Than You Think
"crazy," 1846, from earlier be nutts upon "be very fond of" (1785), which is possibly from nuts (plural noun) "any source of pleasure" (1610s), from nut (q.v.). Sense influenced probably by metaphoric application of nut to "head" (1846, e.g. to be off one's nut "be insane," 1860). Nuts as a derisive retort is attested from 1931.
Connection with the slang "testicle" sense has tended to nudge it toward taboo. "On the N.B.C. network, it is forbidden to call any character a nut; you have to call him a screwball." ["New Yorker," Dec. 23, 1950] "Please eliminate the expression 'nuts to you' from Egbert's speech." [Request from the Hays Office regarding the script of "The Bank Dick," 1940] This desire for avoidance accounts for the euphemism nerts (c.1925).
"hard seed," Old English hnutu, from Proto-Germanic *khnut- (cf. Old Norse hnot, Dutch noot, Old High German hnuz, German nuß "nut"), from PIE *kneu- "nut" (cf. Latin nux; see nucleus). Sense of "testicle" is attested from 1915. Nut-brown is from c.1300 of animals; c.1500 of complexions of women.
Meaning "crazy person, crank" is attested from 1903, (British form nutter first attested 1958; nut-case is from 1959); see nuts. American English slang sense of "amount of money required for something" is first recorded 1912. The nut that goes onto a bolt is first recorded 1610s (used of other small mechanical pieces since early 15c.). Nuts and bolts "fundamentals" is from 1960.
A dry, indehiscent simple fruit consisting of one seed surrounded by a hard and thick pericarp (fruit wall). The seed does not adhere to the pericarp but is connected to it by the funiculus. A nut is similar to an achene but larger. Acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts, and hazelnuts are true nuts. Informally, other edible seeds or dry fruits enclosed in a hard or leathery shell are also called nuts, though they are not true nuts. For instance, an almond kernel is actually the seed of a drupe. Its familiar whitish shell is an endocarp found within the greenish fruit of the almond tree. Peanuts are actually individual seeds from a seed pod called a legume.
An exclamation of disbelief, defiance, contempt, dismay, etc: General McAuliffe replied ''Nuts!'' to the Germans at Bastogne (1931+)noun
The very best; the GREATEST: eulogizing anything as ''the nuts''Related Terms
[first form 1932+, second 1934+; probably a shortening of the cat's nuts]
[insanity sense probably fr late 1800s off one's nut, that is, head; senses 4, 5, and 6 fr the custom of taking the retaining nut from the wheel of a circus wagon, to be returned when all bills were paid]
were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word ('egoz), which means "walnuts," is used.