When every aspect of your plan falls apart, this is an example of when things have gone haywire.
- out of order; disorganized; confused
Origin of haywireprobably from haywire outfit, loggers' term for a camp with poor equipment that had to be held together with haywire
- to behave or perform erratically
- to become crazy
- Not functioning or happening in a proper or orderly fashion: machinery that went haywire; an experiment that went haywire.
- Mentally confused or erratic; crazy: The traveler went haywire over the endless delays.
Origin of haywireFrom the use of baling wire for makeshift repairs Word History: Why should wire used in baling hay be a metaphor for something that is not functioning properly or for a person who is crazy? It would seem a story of semantics gone haywire. From the written record, it appears the use originated among North American loggers around 1900, who often used haywire to make repairs. These repairs were often considered shoddy or unreliable, and haywire developed the general sense “makeshift, inefficient,” from which come the extended senses “not functioning properly” and “crazy.”
(comparative more haywire, superlative most haywire)
- Roughly-made, unsophisticated, decrepit (from the use of haywire for temporary repairs).
- Behaving erratically or uncontrollably, especially of a machine or mechanical process; usually used with the verb "go".
- come unglued (verb)
- tearing up Jack
- lose one's cool
- blow up (emotionally)
- go bonkers (emotionally)
hay + wire To go haywire possibly originally referred to the tendency of wire spooled under tension and used in the baling of hay to spring into an unmanageable tangle once a piece had been removed from the factory spool, e.g., "he took off the back of his watch, removed a gear and the whole works went haywire." Or a tendency of slap-dash repairs done with scraps of baling wire to fail catastrophically at times of mechanical stress. Perhaps the meaning of haywire – all in disarray or disrepair – stems from this expression.