Go Dolally


      • lose one's mind or sanity
        Expressing that someone is acting irrationally or behaving in a nonsensical or illogical manner

      • become extremely angry or upset
        Describing a sudden and intense outburst of emotion, typically anger or frustration

    Examples of Go Dolally

    • The chairman suddenly declared that the company would switch to a completely new product line, and everyone in the boardroom stared at him in disbelief. The CEO tried to calm them down, but it was clear that the chairman had truly gone dolally.

      The expression "go dolally" means to become irrational, crazy, or mentally unsound. In this example, the chairman's decision to change the entire direction of the company without any prior discussion or evaluation is seen as a sign of his mental instability.

    • She lost her job, her husband left her, and her kids moved out. Life had dealt her a series of crushing blows, and she felt as though she were spiralling out of control. Her friends feared that she had gone dolally.

      In this example, the idiom "gone dolally" is used to describe a person who is reacting in an extreme or unpredictable way to a difficult situation. Here, the woman's friends are worried that she is behaving in an unexpected or irrational manner due to the stressful events in her life.

    • The politician stood up in the middle of a press conference and started spewing out nonsensical statements about aliens and space travel. His colleagues looked on in bewilderment as he continued his bizarre rant. It was clear that the poor man had gone dolally.

      In this example, the idiom "gone dolally" is used to describe a person who has suddenly and unexpectedly lost touch with reality. The politician's behavior is seen as irrational and unpredictable, and his colleagues are bewildered and concerned about his mental state.

    • The painter became so engrossed in his work that he forgot to eat, sleep, or even respond to his family's calls. They began to suspect that he had gone dolally, as he seemed to be completely consumed by his art.

      In this example, the idiom "gone dolally" is used to describe a person who is so focused on a particular activity or pursuit that they appear to be losing touch with the outside world. The painter's behavior is seen as extreme and possibly unhealthy, and his family is concerned about his mental state.

    • The scientist's theory went completely dolally after years of rigorous experimentation yielded no conclusive results.

      This idiomatic expression is derived from the term 'dol epidemicus,' which is an old-fashioned term for laughter, madness or excitement. In this context, 'go dolally' is used figuratively to imply that the scientist's theory has become irrational and absurd after exhaustive research did not produce any useful outcomes.

    • After burning her toast for the third time in a row, Emma was ready to go dolally.

      Here, 'go dolally' is employed to imply that Emma is at the end of her wits due to her persistent failure to cook toast appropriately.

    • The judge's decision was completely dolally, and everyone in the court was shocked.

      This usage denotes that the judge's verdict was completely irrational and out of the ordinary, leaving everyone present in the court astounded.

    • John's speech at the conference left the audience baffled, and they concluded that he must have gone dolally.

      This idiomatic phrase is used to indicate that John's discourse was inexplicable and left the audience bewildered, leading them to believe that John might have lost his mind in the course of his speech.


    The idiom "go dolally" is mostly used to convey a sense of irrationality or madness. It can be used to describe someone who is acting in a nonsensical manner, or someone who is experiencing extreme anger or frustration. In both cases, the idiom suggests that the person's behavior is out of control and not based on reason or logic.

    Origin of "Go Dolally"

    The origin of this idiom is believed to come from the Indian town of Deolali, which was a British army transit camp during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Soldiers waiting to be shipped back to Britain would often become bored and restless, leading to strange and erratic behavior. This behavior was then attributed to the town and the phrase "to go dolally" was born.

    Another theory suggests that the word "dolally" comes from the Marathi word "dola," meaning "swing" or "unstable." This further supports the idea that the idiom refers to someone who is mentally unstable or unbalanced.

    In modern usage, the idiom has evolved to also mean becoming extremely angry or upset. This could be because intense emotions can also make a person behave irrationally, similar to the original meaning. Overall, the idiom "go dolally" has maintained its connection to madness and irrationality, even as its usage has expanded.