Date: Tue Jun 30 00:04:36 EDT 1998
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--haywire

haywire (HAY-wire) noun

Wire used in baling hay.

haywire adjective

1. Mentally confused or erratic; crazy:
went haywire over the interminable delays.

2. Not functioning properly; broken.

[From the use of baling wire for makeshift repairs.]

I'll bet few members have ever seen haywire. My uncles down
in Maine a hundred years ago had to bale hay thrown down on
them inside a vertical chute, by jumping up and down on it
to compress it into a bale, then wires could be passed through and twisted, to make bale strong enough to be shipped to Boston's Haymarket. It must have been hell, in
hot weather having to breathe the dust that would have been
raised. But many a piece of farm equipment could be repaired
with scraps of wire.