Whack, fritz

Posted by R. Berg on May 05, 2003

In Reply to: 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?

My dictionaries are no help with "out of whack." We've discussed "fritz" here before; see link below (www.phrases.org.uk bulletin_board 13 messages 1126.html) for a previous post and type "fritz" in the archive search box for more.