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Mad As a Hatter or a March Hare

Mad as a hatter been around a long time and many people think that it came about as a result of the Mad Hatter character in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. However, this is not true.

Mad as a hatter comes from the poisonous hat-making industry in the 1700s and1800s. You are probably wondering what poisonous hats are. Well, those days workers used a toxic substance known as mercury nitrate in order to turn fur into a felt lining for hats. Since for many workers, this meant prolonged exposure to the toxins they began to tremble and hallucinate. This condition became known as hatter shakes and as a result, the idiom mad as a hatter became popular. Tragic but true.

As for the March hare, we met up with him when Alice began running after the white rabbit who was a March hare. It is known that hares behave very excitedly during this month. In defense of all hares supposedly it is not only a monthly thing but they behave oddly throughout their breeding season which lasts several months and thus it is no wonder because breeding is a very serious matter. So for anyone acting excited or nervous, they could be said to be acting as mad as a march hare,

Another phrase that is similar is hare-brained. I know that when I have had the occasion to act strangely I usually refer to myself as missing a few screws but then that is a completely different thing.  So for those who on occasion might become as mad as a March hare or those who know such people this phrase has been around since the 16th century so we are all in very good and old company.

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    Do you know people who are as mad as a hatter or a march hare?

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