Article published on June 21, 2006
Article published on June 21, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Madness seems to spreading around Europe this spring. A recent blog entry ridiculed the actress Lindsay Lohan, who looked like a fruitcake. The poor girl seemed mad, as in that other polite English expression, mad as a hatter. Then again, it is probable she would have been mad in any language.

Except the German’s would have said she was as mad as March, du bist übergeschnappt. Maybe it could all be explained because she had a bird in her head, einen Vogel haben, or she had lost the dishes in the kitchen, nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank haben. Much the same thing would have happened in England, except rather than a bird, she would have had bats in the belfry, lost her marbles, or even had a few screws loose.

The Polish seem to associate carpentry with madness as well, as poor Lindsay would be said to have lost the fifth plank, brakuje ci pitej klepki, while the Dutch would call her crazy as a door, gek als een deur.

The Mediterranean countries prefer their madness out of doors. Italians get crazy like horses, pazzo come un cavallo, Catalonians get all goaty, està com una cabra, while the Spanish would think Lindsay could be sprinkled on the garden – the mad are crazy like watering cans in Spain, estar como una regadera. After all, being called a fruitcake is the nicest thing that can happen to you if you go mad in Europe.