Green’s Dictionary of Slang

nutty adj.2

[nuts adj.]

1. very fond of, obsessed with, amorous.

[UK]W. Perry London Guide 226: I knew he was sweet, not to say nutty, upon the covess.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 223: [He] was in close conversation with his mott in the corner of the Box, and was getting, as Sparkle observed, ‘rather nutty in that quarter of the globe’.
[UK]Egan Anecdotes of the Turf, the Chase etc. 183: Jemmy became quite nutty, and often repeated his visits.
[UK] ‘A Chaunt by Slapped-up Kate and Dubber Daff’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 46: I’ve buss’d and been nutty on fifty young biddies, / And ring’d them as oft as you see.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 6 n.p.: So nutty were Sam’s friends [...] on their man, that the odds rose.
[UK]Sam Sly 6 Jan. 4/1: You are a married man, Billy—do not be so nutty on Miss R—ne, or Sam will whisper a secret in your wife’s ear.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 25 Nov. 2/1: The nutty prowling ‘drummer’ has got a bad reputation lately [...] he is getting to be a nuisance in the [railroad] cars and [...] hotels .
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 53: Nutty, fond.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Stroke of Genius’ in Top-Notch 1 Apr. 🌐 All the Factory Fannies, Stella Stenogs, and Candy Carries go plumb nutty over such stuff!

2. (orig. US) crazy, eccentric; esp. in punning phr. nutty as a fruit cake, nutty as a peach orchard boar; for nutty as squirrel-shit see nutty as/nuttier than squirrel shit under squirrel-shit n.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 24 Sept. 2/7: Mr John Walker is a nutty-looking old gent, marvellously possessed by the demon of irritability.
[US]W. Norr Stories of Chinatown 7: The boys guyed him [...] and volunteered the information that he was either ‘nutty’ or ‘off his feed’.
[US]‘Billy Burgundy’ Toothsome Tales Told in Sl. 93: The slacked demand for the book made Cunningham, the author, a little nutty.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Phantom League’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 194: If a man has n’t something to keep him busy, he’s likely to go nutty.
[US]E. O’Neill Hairy Ape Act I: Yuh’re bugs, dat’s all – nutty as a cuckoo.
[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 22: You’re nutty!
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 21 Oct. [synd. col.] ‘You’re nuttier than a fruitcake’ has only been in nine movies this year.
C. Drew ‘Sledgehammer Joe’ in Bulletin (Sydney) 19 July 48/3: ‘[T]here’ll be a percentage ol the local hyenas nutty enough to back Murray’.
[UK](con. WWI) F. RichardsOld Soldiers Never Die (1964) 147: His nickname was ‘Nutty’ and he was a nut.
[US] ‘The Open Book’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 116: He’s nutty more than a peach orchard boar, / In fact, he’s a plumb sorry hand.
[US](con. 1942) J.H. Burns Gallery (1948) 182: It seemed that Lieutenant Almeranti had gone nuttier than a fruitcake.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Ruby Ransom’ Hollywood Detective Dec. 🌐 I think you’re as nutty as an almond grove.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 27: Sometimes he acted too nutty to suit them.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 772: You’re already getting nuttier than a peach orchard boar.
[US]Mad mag. Sept. 18: Bill Elder [...] is nutty as a fruit cake.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ They’re a Weird Mob (1958) 190: ‘Bats,’ he said. ‘Nutty as a fruit cake,’ said Pat.
[US]Ella Fitzgerald ‘You’re an Old Smoothie’ 🎵 I just go nutty in the hands of a boy like you.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 22: It was the nuttiest scene I ever saw in my life! Right out of Rabelais! Where in hell did you dig up Miss Van Arsdale?
[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 92: ‘She’s as nutty as a fruitcake,’ Doris would say.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 112: The bitch is just nutty when it comes to street whores.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 235: The Beast was as nutty as a fruitcake.
[UK]P. Reading ‘The Euphemisms’ in Tom O’Bedlam’s Beauties 42: Nutty, Screwy, Ga-Ga, Dull, / Strange, Do-Lally, Dopey, Silly, / Touched, A Bit M., Up the Pole.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Wanted’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] She’s as nutty as a fruit cake.
[Aus]P. Corris ‘Stockyards at Jerilderie’ in Heroin Annie [e-book] Steele was pretty nutty to begin with and the dope didn’t help.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 97: We know that there are nutty outlying estates like Mixenden where three-eyed subbies eat their kids.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Rosa Marie’s Baby (2013) [ebook] His nutty idea didn’t sound so nutty after all.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 63: She had her nutty episodes and wandered off for a while.
[UK]Independent On Line (SA) 28 Jan. Gender-neutral parenting: nutty or nice.
[Scot]I. Welsh Decent Ride 366: Aw they nutty burds huntin ays doon oan the phone n by text, no fuckin well believing ays whin ay say tae thum ay cannae see ye.
[US]P. Beatty Sellout (2016) 281: Now I know why that fool Foy went crazy. I’d go nutty, too, if I had some shit like that on my conscience.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 30: His nutty comments are usually directed at the boys.
[Ire]L. McInerney Rules of Revelation 274: It was wrong to rush out, theatrical and attention-seeking and typical of a nutty ex-girlfriend.
[Scot]A. Parks May God Forgive 62: ‘[T]hat nutty woman with the van who goes to Blythswood at night. Hands out cups of tea and Bible tracts?’.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 47: Paul de River’s nutty book and Monroe’s nutty critique of de River’s nutty ethos.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 64: ‘She’s nutty as a fruitcake’.

In compounds

nutty house (n.) [var. on nut house n. (2)]

(US) a psychiatric institution.

[US]Pacific Reporter 165 1152/1: Affidavit Tom [...] clearly indicates that he should be sent to the bug house, the crazy house, the foolish house, the bat house, the looney house, the mad house, the nutty house.

In phrases

nutty about (adj.) (also nutty for) [sense 1 above; heavily influenced by sense 2 above, on model of SE phr. crazy about]

(orig. US) fond of, keen on.

[US]S. Lewis Our Mr Wrenn (1936) 79: I’d always thought I’d be nutty about the quadrangles and stuff, but I’m afraid they’re too highbrow for me.
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 12: He calls a meetin’ of the Johns which is nutty over Blanche and says he won’t even listen to no propositions with the regard to her, ’til somebody takes Kate over off his hands and there’s that!
[US]F. Willard ‘Moon Mullins’ [comic strip] I’m poifectly nutty about youse.
[UK]P. Cheyney Don’t Get Me Wrong (1956) 121: Maybe you guys will think I am a bit nutty about this dame an’ maybe you are right.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 102: Barry’s very nutty about his wife. You can’t talk to the guy about her.
[UK]Guardian Editor 10 Sept. 10: I love romance. I’m a sucker for it [...] I’m nutty for it.
nutty upon (adj.) (also nutty on)

amorous, fond of, obsessed by.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 217: Jerry is in Tip Street upon this occasion and the Mollishers are all nutty upon him.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 6 May 949/2: S. is, a fine young man, but we understand he is nutty on his conquest [i.e. in a fight], and has some idea of going into the P.R.
[UK]Leicester Jrnl 17 May 4: Oscroft [...] being very nutty upon and backing Showell.
[UK]Era (London) 5 Dec. 11/3: M’Stravick, though a lesser man, was [...] ‘nutty’ upon himself.
[UK]Era (London) 15 Aug. 3/3: I’m not pertikarly nutty upon my phrophecies, though I can pick out the good things.
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 31 May 16/2: The young swells were nutty upon the Oxford gal, until they found she was given to gambling.
[UK]R. Whiteing Mr Sprouts, His Opinions 7: ‘I seldom touches it,’ I ses, ‘except once in a way with sage and onions; and I ain’t wery nutty on it then.’.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 88: Everybody’s gone nutty on the proposition.