Saturday, May 31, 2008


I guess I was in high school the first time I ever heard the phrase, “Conniption Fit.” I haven’t though of that phrase for years but it recently popped up on Trish’s blog. Being the Internet is a strange and wonderful place I was sure I could learn more about this phrase and see if it is a real medical condition or if it is an exaggeration of language.

Its earliest use can be traced back to 1833 and is defined as a fit of rage, hysteria, or alarm.

At first hearing one might think it has Yiddish roots being it is pronounced “kuh-nip-shun”, but it could have been literally a corruption of the word corruption, which at one time described feelings of anger or sadness. Others believe it was formed as a nonsense word, suggesting a mock Latin origin. There was also an informal English word, canapsha, which had roughly the same meaning as "conniption" during the early 1800s.

To me the concept of someone having a “Conniption” sounds like a condition where inner rage expels internal organs. It’s not a word or a phrase I’ve ever been known to use, but it was fun to explore for this blog.


Blogger Donna said...

My mom and her family used that term often when I was growing up. I'd forgotten about it.

4:23 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm not sure what this says about me but I still use that word. Heard it a lot from my mother when I was young (and having frequent "conniption" fits.)

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Columbiacrontrolfreak said...

Frequently used word when I was growing up but one not many other people know I've discovered.

I used it this morning when I told my husband one of his ducks was having a conniption fit. He stared at me blankly then asked, "What some kind of seizure?"

1:19 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

I heard it plenty when I was a child. Go figure.

2:06 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Interesting that while being forgotten it is still in limited use.

Syd, no doubt you were often the cause. Darlin ; )

9:18 PM  

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