lose your marbles

lose one’s marbles

Meaning

  • strange behaviors.
  • become crazy.
  • start to forget things.
  • become confused.

Examples in Sentences

  1. When he made the decision to make his selecting passion a full-time endeavor, everyone said, “James, you’ve lost your marbles.”
  2. Thank God, at 80, I haven’t lost my marbles, and my memory is as sharp as it was when I was a teenager.
  3. I thought he’d lost his marbles when he started raving about how the government was trying to get him.
  4. Sadly, after my grandmother’s stroke, she began losing her marbles gradually.
  5. Because of my recent lack of sleep, I feel like I’ve completely lost my marbles.
  6. I’ll tell you, even if you might think I’ve lost my marbles.

Origin

The concept of “losing your marbles” is said to have begun in the United States in the late 1800s. Long ago, children’s favorite toys were marbles, the little metal or glass balls used in various games. However, “marbles” was also a colloquial term for one’s possessions.

Many hold that “marbles,” over time, also came to mean one’s mental faculties, understanding, or street smarts. Given their significance as both toys and one’s own “stuff,” they would also be crucial, and it’s easy to see how mental faculties like reasoning and forethought might be linked to other factors of equal weight.

You can almost picture a kid around the turn of the twentieth century playing with his prized collection of marbles. Since he could stash marbles in his pocket, he could bring the game with him anywhere he went. He would feel a sense of grief and perhaps some rage or sadness if he lost one or more of these valued belongings. As he feverishly looked for the lost marbles, he might have given off a peculiar impression to onlookers.

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