I don't think that meaning of "having a bird" is what is intended here.
Edit many months later: Apparently it is the meaning intended as it is now one of the drop down suggestions. Who knew that Germans used the expression too.
I had no clue that this was even an English expression until I read this. I've never heard it in my entire life.
Yeah, I don't think "having a bird" is an english expression for "being crazy".
I've only heard it used as an expression for "flipping out". Similar to "have a cow".
Oh, yes. they are slang expressions, certainly - but "having a bird," "having a cow," "flipping out," "blowing [one's] top" all basically mean the same thing in my part of the world. I wouldn't define them as "is crazy" in the literal sense of "Is mentally unstable and should be institutionalized," however, but rather as "losing control" or "becoming extremely enraged/visibly frustrated" or something like that. [Native US English speaker here.]
Hi, I just wanted to confirm that it indeed means "someone is crazy". The idea is that you have a bird sitting in your head that interferes with the functioning of your brain :) Pons gives "to have a screw loose" as a translation. The expression "eine Schraube locker haben" is also used in German in the same sense.
That's interesting. I'd expect a range of slang expressions, but who knew they'd be so closely equivalent in literal translation?
Yep, that surprised me, too. But beware, the bird is a false friend :) The German phrase does not have the connotation of anger and losing control.
@Soglio: It isn't necessarily a permanent state. It's something you say when people do things you consider somewhat crazy. Anger or an emotional eruption is normally not implied. "Eine Schraube locker haben" and "Einen Vogel haben" are synonymes in German and seem to fit well with "to have a screw loose". (At least that's what I get from Pons. The existence of this phrase in English is something I just learned, so I dont' have much experience with using it, yet. But I'll try it out on a bunch of people and report back :) )
So, not clinically, certifiably insane, necessarily, just nutty. OK, got it. I'll look forward to the results of your empirical research (but do be careful ;-).
Correct. The first meaning that comes to mind for a native speaker is definitely "Someone is crazy."
"Somebody has a bird" is definitely second choice.
// Correct. The first meaning that comes to mind for A NATIVE SPEAKER is definitely "Someone is crazy."//
native German or native English speaker? i dont think "he has a bird" = "he is crazy"
"Vogel" is masculine, and is a direct object of the verb "hat" in this sentence, so "ein" gets the masculine accusative ending "-en".