What Does the Word “Haywire” Mean and Where Did the Term Come From?

Haywire is used on farms to hold together bales of hay.

It’s tightly bound and when cut will sometimes whip around in a dangerous, erratic manner.

But more than this, because haywire is often used as a temporary repair on machinery that has broken down, or to hold together any equipment that’s falling apart

The word became a rural expression for things or people that aren’t functioning properly, as in, they’ve gone haywire.