Funny farm


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Funny farm'?

Other phrases with

Mental institution.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Funny farm'?

From the slang use of the word ‘funny’ to mean weird, unusual and the description of mad people as ‘funny in the head’. An early citation of ‘funny farm’ is in John Knowles’ novel, set in Hew Hampshire, USA – A Separate Peace, 1959:

“You might start to believe it, then I’d have to make a reservation for you at the Funny Farm.”

Other variants are ‘funny bin’, ‘funny place’, ‘funny house’, ‘funny factory’ etc.

See other phrases that were coined in the USA.

Trend of funny farm in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.