Frantic and Frenetic – Swollen brain

Being frantic: ‘desperate or wild with excitement, passion, fear, pain, etc’ is nothing new, even the Greeks had it, what’s the etymology of frantic?

The word comes from the Middle English (Around 1400 CE) word ‘frentik’, which is also the root of the word ‘frenetic’, meaning ‘fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way.’.

‘Frentik’ comes from the old french (around 1300CE) word ‘frenetike’ which meant ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’ and which came from the Latin word for delirious ‘phreneticus’ – which was from the late Greek ‘phrenitikos’ , even before that, it came from the early Greek ‘phrenitis’ – the ‘itis’ here is the same we see in a lot of diseases and meant ‘inflammation’, with the ‘phren’ part meaning the brain – the same ‘phren’ as is found in ‘schizophrenia’.


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