Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1908, from crazy + stir "prison" (1851), probably from Start Newgate (1757), prison in London, later any prison (1823), probably from Romany stardo "imprisoned," related to staripen "a prison." Mid-19c. sturaban, sturbin "state prison" seem to be transitional forms.
(Variations: bugs or daffy or simple may replace crazy) Insane, stuporous, hysterical, or otherwise affected mentally by imprisonment: Any number of others were what we call stir-crazy, going about their routine like punch-drunk boxers (1908+)