hysterics; a display of over whelming, uncontrollable emotion or agitation, esp. as a result of acute distress;
chiefly used with 'the'
- 1809 rare, colloq. & humorous usage
punning alteration of hysterics,
after 'high' and the plural of 'strike' (a distance, obs.)
FIRST DOCUMENTED USE
1809 - see EXAMPLE below
"...The orator once more gets into the high strikes, and again suffers his philosophical spirit to regale itself with what we conceive to be (though perhaps erroneously) another tit bit of domestic scandal..."
From: The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine;
Or, Monthly, Political, and Literary Censor
September to December Inclusive. 1809
- Abolition of Tithe, Richard Flower