Great Words: Bedlam

New week, new word. This week I wanted to explore a word that was well know in England for hundreds of years, although maybe not so much these days. A word that, for centuries, conveyed horror and fear into the minds of all who heard it. It has an interesting, rich history that invokes so much when fully understood. So, enjoy and use. Take care my friends.


1. A scene of uproar and confusion.
2. An institution for the care of mentally ill people.

Late Middle English. This refers to the hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem in London, founded in 1357. It was used as an insane asylum and has a rich horrific history of abuse and neglect. From chaining the deranged to walls, to starvation. It was a place of fear and terror that during its 700 years became part of the London tourist scene with thousands of people visiting to see the ‘freak show’ of those incarcerated… Click here to find out more.


A few Synonyms
Uproar, pandemonium, mayhem, confusion, unrest.

A few Antonyms
Calm, peaceful, tranquil.


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