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Out of whack

Posted by Michael Scullin on May 05, 2003

Anyone have a clue where the phrase "out of whack", meaning "out of order", comes from? Is it because to put it back in order, you give it a whack?

And how about the equally cryptic ""on the fritz"? Does this have to do with anti-German sentiment during WWII, or could it be onomontopaeic, because some things make a noise like "frrrttzz" when they go out of order?