Go Bananas

Go Bananas




Kato, you're preoccupied with bananas, aren't you?

Me?  ... preoccupied with bananas?

Yes, you are.  You talked about the bananas at the Garden of Eden the other day, didn't you?

Yes, I did, but I'm not particularly fond of bananas.

Then how come you've brought up bananas again?

Well ... Diane, do you remember the following passage in the banana story?


Diane, have you ever heard of a true story in which Adam and Eve ate a banana instead of an apple?

No kidding!

I'm not joking nor jesting.  I'm dead serious!

Kato, are you out of your mind?  All the Christians have been believing for centuries that Adam and Eve ate an apple in the Garden of Eden.  If you say this banana nonsense, you're gonna be a laughingstock on the Net.

I know, I know..., but what I'm saying is true.

You must be out of your mind, Kato.  Why don't you wake up and wash your face again in the ice-cold water?

So, Diane, you don't believe me, do you?

Nobody believe you, Kato.  What the heck makes you think so?

Actually, I borrowed a translated version of the best-seller called "Banana."

I see ... so you've simply gone bananas after reading it, haven't you?

Well ... Diane, at least, you've got a good sense of humor ...

Kato, do you really believe such a foolish story?

No, this is NOT a foolish story.  Look at the following catalogue page.


“Actual Library catalogue”

I see... so, Kato, you've read the Japanese version, haven't you?

Yes, I have.  The above book is one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read in my life.

SOURCE: "Banana @ Eden"
(June 10, 2013)

Kato, what about the above passage?

Well ... I'm just wondering where the go-bananas phrase came from.

It's obvious, isn't it?

What is obvious, Diane?

You see ... many people believe for centuries that Adam and Eve ate an apple in the Garden of Eden.  Then all of a sudden, you mentioned the above nonsense, that is, go for bananas, instead of apples.  That's why "go bananas" means "go out of one's mind."

But, Diane, the phrase has been around for quite a while.  As you know, people said the phrase before the above book goes public.  You told me your explanation simply because I told you the banana story.

According to the story, the naturalist Carl Linne told the world that Adam and Eve ate a banana, not an apple, didn't he?

Yes, he did.


Carl Linne (1707 - 1778)

The yellow sweet banana was gaven the scientific name of "Musa sapentium" from the Latin word which means "knowledge" after the tree of wisdom that knows good and evil.
In addition, the green banana (a.k.a "plantain" used as a cooking) was named "Musa paradisiaca," that is, "banana paradise."

Genus "Musa" that Linne named comes from the Arabic word "mauz," which means the banana.
It is understandable because bananas appear in the holy garden depicted in the Koran---the holy scriptures of Islam written in Arabic.

In the Koran, the tree in the forbidden Eden is called "talh," which is usually translated as "tree in a paradise," or more directly "banana tree."

The scriptures of Islam indicates, "The fruit grows abundantly in the shade of luxuriant foliage... and you can see the fruit in all the year round."
This depiction certainly matches the way bananas grow in the tree.


(translated by Kato)

SOURCE: 24-26ページ 『バナナの世界史』
著者: ダン・コッペル 訳者: 黒川由美
2012年6月3日 第1版第2刷発行
発行所: 株式会社 太田出版
"Banana" by Dan Koeppel

Linne told the world that Adam and Eve ate a banana, not an apple.

When he did, most people didn't believe him, I suppose.

What makes you think so?

... 'Cause even after Linne died many artists have painted apples, instead of bananas, in the paintings of "Adame and Eve" as Hans Thoma and Maurice Denis did.


ADAM AND EVE by Hans Thoma (1839-1924)


ADAM AND EVE by Maurice Denis (1870-1943)

I see ...

So, when Linne told the world, meny people thought that he went out of his mind and some people said that he "went bananas" instead of "went apples."  Since then "go bananas" has meant "go crazy" or "out of one's mind."

Ummm ... Diane, I think you can make a living as an etymologist.

Do you really think so, Kato?

Well ... you may be right, but I'm still in doubt.  So I search for the true origin on the Net and come up with the following three sites:




I know, the banana is the favorite food of monkeys, and monkeys are a popular symbol of disorder and misbehaviour.  So, the word "bananas" came to be associated with "crazy."  This is naturally understandable, isn't it?

Wild, drunken behavior caused by drinking Indonesian native concoctions made from fermented bananas... I'd rather go for that, Kato.

So, Diane, you'd rather like to take a fermented banana drink and go crazy, huh?

That would be nice, wouldn't it?  I didn't know that there is a fermented banana drink.

Well ... I've found a nice video clip for you, Diane.  You can now make your own banana wine.


Well ... I wonder what it tastes like?

Of course, it tastes like banana!  

Very funny ... By the way, Kato, did you check with OED?

Yes, I did.  Look at the following page:


It says that it came from Mande via Portuguese or Spanish in the late 16th century.

What is Mande?

It is one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa with an estimated population of eleven million.  They are the descendants of the Mali Empire, which rose to power under the rule of the great Mandinka king Sundiata Keita.  Apparently, they used the word "bananas" as crazy.


I see ... So, the origin goes back to the late 16th century, huh?

That's what it says.


I've got another question for you, Diane.

What is it?

How about "go nuts"?  Tell me, Diane, about the origin of the idiom "go nuts."

Oh, Kato, ... but you drive me nuts.

【Himiko's Monologue】

What an amusing story it is!
Well ... you might as well go bananas.
So, I've found a nice and jolly video clip for you.
Here it is!

In any case, I hope Kato will write another interesting article soon.
So please come back to see me.

Have a nice day!
Bye bye ...

If you've got some time,

Please read one of the following artciles:


"Halifax to Vancouver"

"A Thread of Destiny"

"Fujiyama Geisha"

"Beaver Lake"

"God is Near!"

"Holy Cow@Rose Garden"

"Vancouver Earthquake"



"You Love Japan, eh?"

"Eight Bridges"

"First Love"

"Fright on Flight"

"Boy's Movie"

"From Summer to Eternity"

"Sōseki & Glenn Gould"


"Dream Dream Dream"

"In Search of Your Footprint"

"Little Night Music"

"Merry X'mas"

"Happy New Year!"

"Long live Diane!"

"Mona Lisa"

"Flu Shot"

"Selfish TD Bank"

"Talk with Mozart"

"Bliss for Diane!"

"Romantic Bohemian"

"TD Bank or Mozart?"

"Diane@TD Bank"

"Tear Jerker"

"Diane in Chorus Line"

"Pork or Friend?"

"Easter Bloopers"

"Beauty is Heart-deep"

"Romance@South Pacific"

"Art Gallery"

"Diane Hypatia"

"Cherry and Silk"

"Price of Your Life"

"Elephant Cries"

"Banana @ Eden"

Hi, I'm June Adams.

"Go nuts" is an English idiom that is usually used in reference to someone who gets extremely excited over something.

This may occur in terms of a person getting agitated, or can also refer to someone who does something with complete abandon.

Another popular way that "go nuts" is used is when someone is describing someone who has had a mental breakdown and gone insane.

The origin of the phrase may be related to the slang usage of the word "nut" as a way of saying "head," or it could have been based on the way that monkeys react wildly when they are given nuts.








『軽井沢タリアセン夫人 - 小百合物語』







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