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November 23, 2021 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"frenzy"
Definition--A state of wild agitation or excitement, also a mania or craze.

Discussion--Being worked into a frenzy can have its advantages in competition, but is usually not a positive thing in everyday life. A feeding frenzy, for example, has no positive benefit in an environment with food to spare, but can be quite beneficial to piranhas, hyenas, and the like whose meals are few and far between and who are in constant competition to get any food at all.

Frenzy is also the title of a 1972 Alfred Hitchcock film about a crazed necktie killer in modern London. This black, comic film was not one of Hitchcock's best, but it does aptly define the term via example.

Etymology--Frenzy comes from Middle English frensie, from the Old French and Medieval Latin phrenesia, which is from the Latin phrenesis. Frenzy is a back formation from the Latin phreneticus for frenetic, the adjectival form of frenzy. Phreneticus, meaning delirious, is an alteration of the Greek phrenitikos, meaning an inflammation of the brain.

The French, Italian, and Spanish languages below show similar roots.

   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  razernij (de)
French:  frénésie (f)
German:  helle Aufregung (f)
Italian: frenesia
Spanish: frenesi, arrebato

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