Green’s Dictionary of Slang

loony adj.

also looney, luny
[loony n.]

1. (orig. US) eccentric, insane, foolish, pertaining to psychiatry.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 107/2: ’T [i.e. a ration] mun go a sumweeirs, an’ thau won’t think he’s luny enuff tu let it goa farder’n is own ‘kick’.
[US]H.L. Williams Joaquin 131: You’re loony to think of fighting ’em.
[US]H.L. Williams Black-Eyed Beauty 50: She was such a looney piece!
[US]B. Harte Gabriel Conroy III 114: He’s looney, Olly.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 25 Nov. 6/5: Have yer gone loony?
[Aus]‘Price Warung’ Tales of the Early Days 217: An’ yer dad won’t be too looney to flog — nobody’s too looney to flog.
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 33: I guess I’m getting a little loony meself.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 300: I never knew before that they sent luny people to poorhouses.
[UK]Leigh & Powell [perf. Marie Lloyd] Tiddley-om-pom [lyrics] But the Spaniard when he’s ‘spoony’ / He goes absolutely ‘Looney’.
[UK]A.N. Lyons Arthur’s 203: Took looney, or what is it?
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 21 June 1/1: The loony religionist who perpetrates the blasphemy should be incarcerated.
[US]W.M. Raine Brand Blotters (1912) 192: She’s plumb loony – dangerous, too.
[US]F.P. Dunne Mr Dooley Says 149: Anything th’ rich do that ye want to do an’ don’t do is looney.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper XL:2 61: He was loony.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 112: Little Slim was always considered somewhat looney.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Living (1978) 3676: To ’ave the coppers come in an’ take you for disorderly be’aviour, and when you ain’t even tight, it’s loony, Joe.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 93: This was just the sort of loony thing I should have expected her to think.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 115: A few of the luniest scrubbers went into the big yard. They charged with a mad bellow.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 57: Gawd knows you ain’t no catch without your looney ideas, but with ’em you’re as much fun as a wet Sunday.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 16: ‘She’s bats.’ The Stray tapped her forehead. ‘Looney, like farver was.’ She added hopefully: ‘Maybe she’s escaped from a ’sylum.’.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 79: He tried heavens hard [...] to get hold of something to talk about, but everything as come sounded so luny.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 363: What the hell are we in the loony ward for?
[US]G. Metalious Peyton Place (1959) 74: She’s loony [...] Loony as hell!
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 29: That’s what all these looney laws are for, yer know: to be broken by blokes like me.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 48: When they go looney like that, you can’t argue any fine points with them.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 27: That Pershing Square! — it’s a loony asylum.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 21: ‘You got any bread?’ he asked Harvey, with the same loony smile.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 15: He’s in one of them left-wing loony groups. Sort of a political version of glue-sniffing.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 113: A home video of her loony life fastforwarded between her ears. [Ibid.] 336: That loony Hospital attempt was the first signal [i.e. of trouble].
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 213: Dr. Kilaru was [...] very pleasant and extremely dapper. Obviously, this loony business lent itself to the big buck.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 305: But the loony witch had a point.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 32: I’m joinin him in this loony but as i say not exactly original plan.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 19 Dec. 62/1: His ludicrously inflated income is [...] a by-product of football’s loony economics.

2. (US campus) intoxicated.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Spring 4: looney – drunk, or high on drugs: Last night at the house we all got looney.

In compounds

loony bird (n.) [bird n.1 (3a)]

(US) a crazy person.

[US]W. Eastlake Bamboo Bed (1970) 64: Do we look like loonybirds who can’t keep our pants zipped.
[US]W. Diehl Sharky’s Machine 272: I’m not saying he’s a goddamn loony bird. He’s just uh, . . . a little loose in the attic.
loony-boob (n.)

(Aus.) a psychiatric institution.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 5 May 4/7: Policemen duly sing lusty choruses, perform pantomimic evolutions [...] Johns so acting would be eligible for the loony-boob.
loony factory (n.)

(US) a psychiatric institution.

[US]C. Connors Bowery Life [ebook] I takes a slow walk down de lane, w’ich wuz like a looney factory wid dat mob pushin’ t’ru.
loony farm (n.)

(US) a psychiatric institution; also in fig. use.

Avalanche 4-8 29/1: Anyway he went crazy and tried to knife Peter Sellers and they took him off to a loony farm.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 19: Hey, buddy, you sure this isn’t the loony farm?
G.D. Pattinson Guide to Professional Architecture 284: You can drive yourself to the loony farm trying to determine why the tower is crooked.
F. Michaels To Have and To Hold 290: Without her and Donald, our kids would have been put in foster homes and I would have been carted off to the loony farm.
Leninger & Whalin Lessons from the Pit 75: This place is a loony farm. Look at all those guys trying to buy those spreads over there.
[US]T. Fontana ‘Orpheus Descending’ Oz ser. 4 ep. 14 [TV script] There’s a very good chance that Cyril’s going to end up in a loony farm.
[US]N. McCall Them (2008) 78: They use to pay twenny dollars a head to turn in crazies to the loony farm.
loony house (n.)

(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.
[UK]E. Waugh Vile Bodies 35: His wife’s locked up in a looney house.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 22 July. [synd. col.] He turned out to be an escaped wacko from the Islip looney house.
[UK]C. Harris Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 181: And ask ’em what loony ’ouse they escaped from.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 151: Take Bunny along and see what’s going on in that loony house.
loony pen (n.)

(US) a psychiatric institution.

[US]W.J. Caunitz One Police Plaza 201: Your complainant sounds like an escape from a fucking loony pen.