Conniption fit is a popular synonym for the act of throwing a tantrum, although the tantrum itself may be divided into two subcategories: Hissy fit and “Conniption fit”.
The main difference being the fact that a Hissy fit is usually just Confused Screaming and other verbal expressions of emotions, while a “Conniption fit” is also paired with physical gestures and possibly even the destruction of objects in the environment.
Although it is unclear where exactly the word “Conniption” originates from, rendering the roots of “Conniption fit” hazy, the most widely accepted etymologies for the term state that it is either corrupted form of the word “Corruption”, which was used as a synonym for “anger” since the 1790’s, or a corrupted form of the word “Captious”, found in several texts as “canapshus”.
One of the earliest uses of the phrase “Conniption fit” comes from the 1833 autobiographical publication of Major Jack Downing, titled “The Life and Writings of Major Jack Downing”.
In the following decades, “Conniption fit” would spread across the Southern regions of the United States, similar to the expression Fair to Middling.
Despite this, for a while in the 1870’s, the phrase’s popularity had dwindled with only a handful of accounts displaying documented uses of it in print.
During the 1900’s, however, “Conniption fit” rose back to prominence, with a rapidly increasing number of uses.
Today, it is still widely recognized and used, although its popularity has started to decline since the 2010’s.
The expression was first defined on Urban Dictionary on July 2nd, 2014.