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.