nut house n.
1. (US) a mad person.
|Twenty Below Act II: Go to sleep, you nut-house.|
|Gutted 2: ‘Right, y’bastards!,’ I wailed, like a nuthouse on meds night.|
2. (orig. US, also nut hospital) a psychiatric institution.
|Day Book (Chicago) 27 July 30/1: If [the] Egyptian Queen was alive now she would be in [a] nut house.|
|diary 13 Dec. [Internet] My Ward is like a nut house. Always a bunch of men sneaking around and coming in to spoon with the nurses.|
|Three Soldiers 88: ‘Say, Dook, your outfit was working with ours at Chamfort that time, wasn’t it?’ ‘You mean when we evacuated the nut hospital?’.|
|(con. 1917–18) War Bugs 161: People have been put in the Nut House for less.|
|Screening the Blues (1968) 224: Nut-house is for crazy folks, folks got sense don’t go there.‘Sweet Patuni’ in Oliver|
|Sun (Sydney) 20 Oct. 15/2: Instead of having de Groot charged with a crime and making a big man of him, he bundles him into the nut house at Darlo.|
|Man with the Golden Arm 27: The nuthouse is the best place for you.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 44: I’d send you to a fughing nut-’ouse.|
|Mama Black Widow 216: I dare you to put me in the nut house.|
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 131: A silent Japanese film about a nuthouse.|
|Muscle for the Wing 23: The trustee at the nut house gave me a tip.|
|Trainspotting 269: He never fucked me properly for ages, Laura told Spud, as if that was justification for getting him banged up in the nuthouse.|
|Sun 26 June 48: Put Tyson in the nuthouse.|
|Life 26: Mick Jagger had a summer job at the Bexley nuthouse.|
3. attrib. use of sense 2.
|Minneapolis Jrnl (MN) 8 Oct. 50/2: [cartoon caption] De guy must be nut house puttin rats in er band box!|
|Salt lake Herald Republican (UT) 17 Oct. 33/1: [cartoon caption] Who, me, climb up there? [...] You must be nut-house.|
|Tucker’s People (1944) 320: ‘You can frame it on a nuthouse wall,’ she said and laughed.|
|Junkie (1966) 10: The nut-house doctors had never heard of Van Gogh. They put me down for schizophrenia.|
|in Sweet Daddy 107: I’m no nut house hack.|
|One to Count Cadence (1987) 21: I’ve handled you nut-house cases before.|
|Little Boy Blue (1995) 118: Oh, you! The nuthouse kid.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 134: His men bracing armed robbers, nuthouse parolees.|
4. (US) a chaotic place or situation, a fig. madhouse.
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 181: The Chicago loop was like a nuthouse on fire.Young Manhood in|
|(con. 1948) Flee the Angry Strangers 362: Christ, it’s a lunatic asylum, it really is. It’s a nuthouse.|
|Look Back in Anger Act II: We’ll keep the old nut-house going somehow.|
|On the Yard (2002) 224: Time for me to make it out of this nut house.|
|The Joy (2015) [ebook] [T]his place [i.e prison] is a nuthouse.|