I’m slightly batty. Batty is an interesting word because it can mean at least two completely different things nowadays. If you say someone is “batty,” just by itself then you generally mean they are a little bit nuts. If you say that somebody is a “batty man” you are implying that they are gay.
Where do these meanings come from? Perhaps the mad definition is the most obvious one. It sounds like it probably comes from having bats in your belfry. But where did that come from? Well who do we know from the annuls of literature who lived in a belfry? There was the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Maybe it has something to do with him? He wasn’t really crazy, just deformed, and I’m guessing here, probably a little deaf. So this doesn’t really seem to be leading us anywhere.
I guess the belfry is in the head position of a church, if we are comparing a church to a person. It sounds like the beginning of a joke. “How is a church like a person? In no way at all”. This is why it sounds like a joke, rather than actually being one. So, back to the point. It could be anything living in the belfry but bats sound better than owls, vicars, or the Hunchback of Notre Dame for that matter.
So what about being gay? What possible link could there be? Well how about this leap? It’s all to do with cricket. You’re playing for the other team, it’s not cricket – which is exactly why it is cricket for the purposes of this argument, and so while I’m fielding the question and you’re playing for the other team you must be batting, but because we are into the brevity thing it becomes “batty”.
In other words I don’t know.