Go Off The Deep End

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Meaning of Idiom 'To Go Off the Deep End'

To go off the deep end is to become extremely upset and unable to control your emotional reaction; to be angry and irrational; to be carried away by emotion, especially anger and to react irrationally. 1,2


"Morrison, after losing his job and his wife in the same week, went off the deep end and started drinking day and night."

"I can't be around Vic anymore. The slightest little thing and he goes off the deep end."


Used since the 1920's, the idiom alludes to the deep end of a swimming pool. 2

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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