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[bahr-mee] /ˈbɑr mi/
adjective, barmier, barmiest.
containing or resembling barm; frothy.
British Slang. balmy (def 4).
Origin of barmy
1525-35; barm + -y1; def. 2 probably respelling of balmy by r-less speaker Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for barmy
Historical Examples
  • Well, then, hall Hi can say his hit sounds like barmy Yankee nonsense to me.

    The Glory of The Coming Irvin S. Cobb
  • "If you ask me, I think the blighter is barmy," asserted the Briton.

    The Unspeakable Perk Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • A man shall not be choak't With the stench of garlic, nor be pasted To the barmy jacket of a beer-brewer.

    Shakespearean Playhouses

    Joseph Quincy Adams
  • None of them except barmy Sid once visited his rooms; nor did he find it at all easy to strike up even a staircase acquaintance.

    Sinister Street, vol. 2 Compton Mackenzie
British Dictionary definitions for barmy


adjective -mier, -miest
(slang) eccentric or foolish Also balmy
Word Origin
C16: originally, full of barm, hence frothing, excited, flighty, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for barmy

1530s, "frothing, covered with barm;" see barm + -y (2). Figurative sense of "excited, flighty, bubbling with excitement" is from c.1600. Meaning "foolish" (1892) is probably an alteration of balmy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for barmy



Mildly crazy; cracked: One of your balmier notions

[first form chiefly British 1600+, second 1800s+; fr barm, ''froth on fermenting beer,'' hence ''flighty, ditsy''; fell in with balmy, said to be fr St Bartelemy, the patron of mad folk, perhaps because the words are homophones in British English]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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