Posted by Masakim on May 10, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Off your trolley posted by ESC on May 10, 2002
: : Where does the phrase " off your trolley " come from.
: OFF YOUR TROLLEY - "adj. British. deranged, unstable, crazy. A variation on the 'off one's block' theme which has been popular in British speech since the 1970s. The original image evoked may be of a child losing control of a cart or scooter, or of a patient falling from a mobile stretcher or frame." From "Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books, New York, 1990).
British!? since the 1970s!?
_The American Thesaurus of Slang_ lists it on entries "150.5 STUPID" & "152.5 INSANE; CRAZY."
Jonathon Green, in _Cassell's Dictionary of Slang_ , writes: "The Manhattan trolley, which were not allowed overhead cbles (as were those in Brooklyn) after so many came down in the hurricane of 1888, picked up their supply from an electrified third rail and so if the car became derailed, its power was lost."
The medium is clear off her trolley, for my father has been dead three years. (Davenport, _Butte Beneath X-Ray_, 1908)