Bananas



crazy; deranged:
All that chatter is driving me bananas.
wildly enthusiastic:
The crowd went bananas when the music began.
a tropical plant of the genus Musa, certain species of which are cultivated for their nutritious fruit.
Compare banana family.
the fruit, especially that of M. paradisiaca, with yellow or reddish rind.
Contemporary Examples

The site is provocative enough in the vegan world to earn its own digital arch-nemesis “30 bananas A Day…Sucks!”
Why the ‘30 Bananas a Day Diet’ Is Monkey Business Abby Haglage January 1, 2014

First, the bananas, while ripe, need to be firm so that they hold their shape when pushed into place.
5 Iconic Recipes From an Iconic Chef Emeril Lagasse May 11, 2011

After spotting free fruit in a kitchen, this fellow proceeded to take a whole bunch of bananas back to his desk.
Companies Discover Untapped Brainpower: Autistics Joshua Kendall July 20, 2013

Some of these, such as bananas, have thick skins that form a natural barrier between the fruit and outside invaders.
Is Your Food Really Organic? Mary Goodbody August 10, 2009

This toned Aussie went from fat to fit by eating dozens of bananas a day—and little else.
Why the ‘30 Bananas a Day Diet’ Is Monkey Business Abby Haglage January 1, 2014

Historical Examples

bananas had been ashore, drinking some native spirit, and he was drunk.
The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham

Every day his corn and bananas became more distasteful to him.
An American Robinson Crusoe Samuel. B. Allison

There were bananas, and, as Jefferson recognised, lime trees in between.
For Jacinta Harold Bindloss

On some islands, bread-fruit trees, pineapples, and bananas are grown.
From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin

Cut the bananas in halves crosswise and roll in the chopped nuts until well coated.
Quantity Cookery Lenore Richards

adjective
(slang) crazy (esp in the phrase go bananas)
noun
any of several tropical and subtropical herbaceous treelike plants of the musaceous genus Musa, esp M. sapientum, a widely cultivated species propagated from suckers and having hanging clusters of edible fruit
the crescent-shaped fruit of any of these plants Compare plantain2
adj.

“crazy,” 1968; earlier (1935) it was noted as an underworld slang term for “sexually perverted.”
n.

1590s, borrowed by Spanish or Portuguese from a West African word, possibly Wolof banana. The plant was introduced to the New World from Africa in 1516. Top banana, second banana, etc. are 1950s, from show business slang use of banana for “comedian, especially in a burlesque show.” Banana split first attested 1920. Banana oil “nonsense” is slang from c.1910.

adjective

Crazy; nuts: I could see that my calm was driving him bananas (1970s+)
Very enthusiastic; highly excited; ape (1960s+)
Homosexual (1930s+ Underworld)

Related Terms

go bananas

modifier

Excellent; wonderful; cool, fresh, rad: Cool Beans ”superlative, a highly desirable situation” (1980s+ Students)

noun

A comedian, esp in a burlesque show •These performers were ranked as ”top banana,” ”second banana,” etc (1950s+ Show business)
A sexually attractive light-skinned black woman Considered offensive by the women to whom this term is applied (1940s+ Black)
The penis (1916+)
An Oriental sympathetic with and part of the white majority society •Because white on the inside though yellow on the outside (1980s+)
A patient with jaundice (1980s+ Medical)
A fool; an idiot •Attested as college slang in 1989, probably based on bananas (1920+)
A crazy person; loony (1970s+)

Related Terms

have one’s banana peeled, top banana
build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody
In addition to the idiom beginning with
banana

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