Tuesday, May 4, 2010
wing nut \ˈwiŋ-ˌnət\ noun: 1. a nut with wings that provide a grip for the thumb and finger, 2. (slang) a mentally deranged person, 3. (slang) one who advocates extreme measures or changes; radical
First written usage: circa 1900
What is the etymology behind the slang definitions of wing nut? Is it related to the use of the word nut to refer to a crazy or eccentric person?