https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY3-3S7SeZc 0:21

They are about to get sorted into their houses at hogwarts. And Ron says "Mental that one. I'm telling you." But what's the meaning of mental here? Can anyone help me?

  • Please consult a dictionary before you ask for the meaning of a word. This is a good learner's dictionary.
    – user3395
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 13:24
  • mental is short/slang for "mentally insane"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 14:15
  • Quick note: it may sound like he's using "mental" as a verb but he's not. It's more like "[She's] mental, that one." (or the House, I can't tell from the video who/what he's referring to exactly).
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


It means mentally ill or, in other words, crazy. Crazy enough to be sent to a mental hospital. This is primarily a British expression. Have you heard of Da Ali G Show? He uses that expression sometimes.

Here's his famous address to graduating students during the 2004 commencement ceremony at Harvard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCy75CA3Aw#t=11m4s

Let's talk about the finances of all that knowledge that's been dropped on you the last few years. It costs $38,000 a year to go to Harvard. Now, I don't know how you lot has earned that. Probably from you. You is earned every penny. But most of you has got that cash from your parents. All you fathers out there, you is made some choices. With that money, you could've bought a top of the range Lexus, but instead you chose to invest in your kids' future. Is you mental?

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So, when somebody says Are you mental?, what they mean is Are you out of your goddamn mind?

  • 4
    It should be noted "mental", "insane" and "crazy" as casual terms are generally considered casually offensive
    – cat
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 18:10
  • 2
    It should be noted that "Is you mental" isn't grammatical: is this really the best example? It's hardly exemplar English for an English language learning forum! Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 20:13
  • 1
    Yep. Unfortunately, that's the best example I could find. I don't know, but when I think of the expression "mental", Ali G immediately springs to mind. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 17:32

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