- markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements; outrageously or whimsically strange; odd: bizarre clothing; bizarre behavior.
Origin of bizarre
For a long time, it was conjectured that bizarre is of Basque origin, coming from the word bizarra, meaning “beard.” This same word supposedly passed into Spanish and Portuguese as bizarro, with the meaning “handsome” or “brave” (one imagines in the belief that a man with a beard was endowed with those qualities). From there it was thought to have been adopted by the French, who liked the word but apparently did not attribute the same heroic qualities to the bearded man. In French, bizarre means “odd.”
Recently, a more likely etymology has gained ground—rather than from Spanish, the French word is thought to have come from bizarro, an Italian word meaning “angry, choleric,” and which originally meant “brave, soldier-like.” Now, this still means that we have to get from a word meaning “angry” to one meaning “odd,” but it is, perhaps, a less bizarre journey.
— Bizarre: A Canadian sketch comedy television series that aired from 1980–1985 in Canada, and in the U.S. on the cable channel Showtime.
—Bizarre Creations: A video game developer, based in Liverpool, England, and known for games like Blur (2010), James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010), and the Project Gotham Racing series. The name Bizarre Creations came about in 1994 when the then nameless company needed a temporary name and chose “Weird Concepts.” A staff member later used Microsoft Word's Thesaurus on the name, which came up with “Bizarre Creations.”
— Mondo Bizarro: A 1966 faux travelogue that mixes often shocking documentary and mockumentary footage. The film is a successor to the 1963 film Mondo Cane, originator of the exploitation documentary genre.
— Mondo Bizarro: The name of the twelfth studio album by the New York punk band The Ramones. Released in 1992.
— Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern: A television travel show that follows host Andrew Zimmern around the world as he tastes unusual local food. First aired in 2007 on the Travel Channel.
- "Good evening. I'm Mr. Mike, inviting you to come with me into a world where the bizarre is commonplace and the commonplace bizarre."-Michael O'Donoghue as Mr. Mike in the 1979 movie Mr. Mike's Mondo Video imdb.com (1979)
- "No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal."-Bill Cosby Fatherhood (1987)
Related Words for bizarreunusual, ridiculous, freakish, ludicrous, grotesque, fantastic, offbeat, extraordinary, outlandish, curious, weird, odd, peculiar, comical, camp, eccentric, far-out, oddball, queer, singular
Examples from the Web for bizarre
Contemporary Examples of bizarre
In a bizarre matchup, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor came for the 20-year-old singer this past July in Ibiza.The Bloom-Bieber Brawl We Didn’t Know We Needed
December 29, 2014
And likewise the Easter bunny, a bizarre pagan myth if ever one there was.Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa
December 5, 2014
In a bizarre twist to proceedings, Miss Manners sought to have her £30 cab fare from her Kensington flat to court refunded.How A British Aristocrat Used Big Game Hunter’s Sperm To Get Pregnant Without His Permission
December 2, 2014
The source added that the staffers “hated” the bizarre alleged practice.Bill Cosby’s Long List of Accusers (So Far): 18 Alleged Sexual Assault Victims Between 1965-2004
November 24, 2014
“Bizarre imaginings by Mr. du Pont have also been recounted by athletes who trained with Team Foxcatcher,” wrote The Times.Foxcatcher’s Real-Life Psycho Killer
November 18, 2014
Historical Examples of bizarre
Here it is the fantastic and the bizarre that hold the imagination captive.The Roof of France
A gust of irresolution swayed all sorts of bizarre notions in his mind.
No amount of solemnity could make such a statement other than bizarre.Chance
It seemed an incredible state of affairs, something too bizarre to last.
At least, they thought the bizarre figure was old Gurlone, from the size.
- odd or unusual, esp in an interesting or amusing way
Word Origin for bizarre
1640s, from French bizarre "odd, fantastic" (16c.), originally "handsome, brave," perhaps from Basque bizar "a beard" (the notion being of bearded Spanish soldiers making a strange impression on the French); alternative etymology traces it to Italian bizarro "angry, fierce, irascible," from bizza "fit of anger."