Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bughouse adj.1

also bug
[bughouse n. (2); Flynt, Tramping with Tramps (1900), attributes the coinage to the tramp Boston Mary who believed she had ‘bugs’ crawling in her brain]

(US) insane, crazy; obsessively in love (see cite 1904).

[UK]Contemp. Review LX n.p.: Begging is called ‘battering for chewing;’ railway brakemen, ‘brakies; poorhouses, ‘pogies;’ prisons, ‘pens;’ liquor drinking, ‘rushing the growler;’ insanity, ‘bug-house,’ &c. &c. This slang is a very popular.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 238: She exclaimed suddenly: ‘Blokes, I’m bughouse.’ Asked what she meant, she said: ‘I’m losin’ me brain.’.
[US]Honolulu Republican (HI) 6 Sept. 8/3: My distant friend [...] clicked off the opinion that I ‘was bughouse’.
[US]St Paul Globe (MN) 7 Aug. 27/2: ‘She’s a Romeo rag-ga, ain’t ta it?’ [...] ‘Whose rag is she den? She’s his’n. Dey’s bughouse on each udder’.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe 98: I couldn’t see the use of monkeyin’ with that bug-house boarder.
[US]C. M’Govern By Bolo and Krag 17: Talk of the fun you have in New York city [...] with that bug-house Raines law in full swing!
[US]Topeka State Jrnl (KS) 4 Feb. n.p.: They do not circulate reports designed to drive me ‘bug’.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe on the Job 319: He’s only a batty nephew, that they keep under guard. Bughouse, you know.
[UK]A. Conan Doyle His Last Bow in Baring-Gould (1968) II 798: ‘The man was mad.’ [...] ‘It’s enough to make a man bughouse when he has to play a part from mornin’ to night, with a hundred guys all ready to set the coppers wise to him.’.
[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 198: ‘Buddoo in front; bloodthirsty bughouse wallah in the rea . . . Nice party we’re havin’’.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 20 Aug. 11/2: Slanguage [...] Cross out the incorrect: word or phrase in the following sentences: [...] ‘Hamlet was bughouse (barmy)’.
[US]C. McKay Banjo 6: He was bughouse and he delighted in the name of Bugsy.
[US]E. Hemingway letter c.15 Dec. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 336: What gets you bughouse is to lie awake all night with nothing to think about but how old Max [...] had double-crossed you.
[US]H. McCoy Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 146: Doc Green’ll cross you up in a minute [...] He’s bug-house.
[US]R. Bissell High Water 79: A bughouse Hamlet is an old boy who is all the time reciting Shakespeare.
[US]B. Gutcheon New Girls (1982) 135: She didn’t think Miss Purse was completely bughouse.
[US]S. King It (1987) 701: I got a lot wrong with me, but I’m not bughouse.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 235: She was a bughouse slut!
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 192: I was bughouse.

In phrases

go bughouse (v.)

to go mad.

[US]Sun (NY) 21 May 28/1: ‘I won’t stay, fer if I did, I’d go bughouse (crazy) in a week’.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 92: If I do n’t get mine inside of a week I’ll go bug-house.
[UK]Manchester Courier 1 Feb. 6/7: ‘To go bughouse’ may have been suggested by the entomological visions of sufferers of delerium tremens.
[Aus]M. Garahan Stiffs 154: Half of them went natural bug-house [...] but the rest of ’em went religious bug-house.
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night Act III: Mamie Burns thought I’d gone bughouse.
[US]W. Styron Set This House on Fire 401: It will I pray, prevail [...] Lest old Cass go bug house & bring down his abode.
[US]G. Cuomo Among Thieves 32: He was bored out of his skull, and could see where he’d really go bughouse if he had to keep doing this.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 297: What if St Claire went bughouse and attacked him?
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 162: I caught him glowering at the board as if he were on the verge of goin’ bughouse.
[US]R. Price Lush Life 152: Little Dap saw Tristan go all stiff and bughouse .