n. a state of frenzy or wild confusion. The term was actually coined from a place, the Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem. A monastery-turned-asylum, it housed the insane beginning in 1547. Most of the inmates, as they were called, were starved, shackled, and exhibited to the public in wild and frenzied states. Thus, bedlam' became synonymous with frenzied, psychotic behavior.
BEDLAM: "Often associated with a madhouse of crazy behavior, the word bedlam was coined after an asylum named Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem."