Anger, a powerful and primal emotion, has the capability of driving actions, sparking revolutions, and occasionally, burning bridges. It is an emotion as old as humanity itself, and over time, the ways in which we express and relate to anger have become deeply ingrained in our languages and cultures. “Idioms for Anger” offers a unique perspective into the linguistic manifestations of this potent emotion, showcasing how societies have encapsulated the fiery essence of anger into evocative expressions.
From “flying off the handle” to “seeing red,” these idioms not only paint vivid images of rage but also provide insights into the societal norms, values, and experiences that have shaped our understanding of anger. In this article, we’ll uncover the stories, origins, and cultural nuances behind these expressions, offering readers a fascinating journey through the turbulent landscape of human fury. Step into this linguistic exploration, where each idiom is a testament to the myriad ways anger touches our lives and shapes our narratives.
Common Idioms For Anger with Meaning and Example
Anger, a powerful and primal emotion, has punctuated human interactions and experiences for eons. From the passionate discourses of philosophers to the heated exchanges in dramas, anger has been a recurrent theme across cultures and eras. The English language, with its rich reservoir of idioms, offers a vivid palette to articulate the various shades of this emotion. In this article, we’ll traverse the fiery landscape of idioms associated with anger, illuminating their meanings, origins, and nuances.
- Blow One’s Top/Stack
- Meaning: To become extremely angry.
- Example: “When he saw the broken vase, he completely blew his top.”
- Fly off the Handle
- Meaning: To suddenly become very angry.
- Example: “She tends to fly off the handle over minor issues.”
- See Red
- Meaning: To become very angry suddenly.
- Example: “When he realized he was being lied to, he saw red.”
- Have a Short Fuse
- Meaning: To get angry very easily.
- Example: “Be careful around him; he has a short fuse.”
- Bite One’s Head Off
- Meaning: To reply in an angry or irritated way.
- Example: “I just asked a simple question, and she bit my head off.”
- Jump Down Someone’s Throat
- Meaning: To react angrily to something someone says or does.
- Example: “He’s so touchy; if you say anything out of line, he’ll jump down your throat.”
- Foaming at the Mouth
- Meaning: Extremely angry.
- Example: “After being cheated out of his money, he was practically foaming at the mouth.”
- Get One’s Knickers in a Twist
- Meaning: To get very upset or angry about something, often unnecessarily.
- Example: “Don’t get your knickers in a twist; it was just a joke.”
- Burning with Rage
- Meaning: Extremely and intensely angry.
- Example: “When she heard about the injustice, she was burning with rage.”
- Hold a Grudge
- Meaning: To remain angry with someone about something they did in the past.
- Example: “He’s not one to hold a grudge, so he’ll forgive you.”
- Hit the Roof/Ceiling
- Meaning: To become extremely angry.
- Example: “When she found out her brother used her computer without permission, she hit the roof.”
- Steam Coming Out of One’s Ears
- Meaning: Very angry.
- Example: “After that argument, he had steam coming out of his ears.”
- Ruffle Someone’s Feathers
- Meaning: To upset or annoy someone.
- Example: “His comment about her dress certainly ruffled her feathers.”
- Stir Up a Hornet’s Nest
- Meaning: To do or say something that causes trouble or makes a lot of people angry.
- Example: “By bringing up that topic, he unknowingly stirred up a hornet’s nest.”
- Like a Red Rag to a Bull
- Meaning: Something that is bound to provoke someone to anger or to cause a reaction.
- Example: “Mentioning his ex-girlfriend’s name is like a red rag to a bull.”
List of Anger Idioms with Meaning
|a pain (in the neck)||someone or something that is very annoying|
|be like a bear with a sore head||to be in a bad mood that causes you to treat other people badly and complain a lot|
|be like a red rag to a bull||to be certain to produce an angry or violent reaction|
|Bite Someone’S Head Off||to speak to someone in a quick, angry way, for no good reason|
|blind someone with science||to confuse someone by using difficult or technical words to describe something|
|blow a fuse/gasket||to become very angry|
|blow your lid/top/stack||to become extremely angry|
|Bubble Over||to be very excited and enthusiastic|
|clip someone’s wings||to limit someone’s freedom|
|Come Down On Someone Like A Ton Of Bricks||to punish someone very quickly and severely|
|cry over spilled milk||to feel sorry or sad about something that has already happened; used to emphasize that this is not helpful|
|cut something out||to remove something or form a shape by cutting, usually from paper or cloth|
|don’t get mad, get even||something that you say in order to tell someone not to be angry when another person has upset them, but instead to do something that will upset that person very much|
|Drive Someone Up The Wall||to make someone extremely angry|
|Eat Someone Alive||to criticize someone very angrily|
|eaten up with/by something||If someone is eaten up with/by a negative emotion, they are experiencing it very strongly|
|Fit To Be Tied||extremely angry|
|Fit To Burst||If someone is fit to burst with an emotion or a feeling, it is very strong inside them|
|flip out||to become extremely angry or to lose control of yourself from surprise or shock|
|Fly Off The Handle||to react in a very angry way to something that someone says or does|
|For Crying Out Loud||said when you are annoyed, and to emphasize what you are saying|
|get bent out of shape||to become very angry or upset|
|get off someone’s back||used to tell someone to stop criticizing you|
|Get On Someone’S Nerves||to annoy someone a lot|
|Give Someone A Piece Of Your Mind||to tell someone why you are angry with that person|
|Go Ballistic||to become extremely angry|
|go off the deep end||to get very angry about something or lose control of yourself|
|Go Postal||to become very angry and do something violent|
|Have A Bone To Pick With Someone||to want to talk to someone about something annoying they have done|
|Have A Cow||to be very worried, upset, or angry about something|
|Have A Fit||to become very angry|
|Have A Short Fuse||to get angry very easily|
|hit the ceiling/roof||to become extremely angry|
|Hot Under The Collar||embarrassed or angry about something|
|In A Huff||feeling angry and upset|
|jump down someone’s throat||to react angrily to something that someone says or does|
|let/blow off steam||to do or say something that helps you to get rid of strong feelings or energy|
|Make One’S Blood Boil||to make someone extremely angry|
|make someone’s blood boil||to make someone extremely angry|
|Piss Off||to leave or go away; used especially as a rude way of telling someone to go away|
|Rub Someone Up The Wrong Way||to annoy someone without intending to|
|See Red||to become very angry|
|skin someone alive||to punish or tell someone off severely|
|step on someone’s toes||to upset someone, esp. by getting involved in something that is that person’s responsibility|
|Storm In A Teacup||a lot of unnecessary anger and worry about a matter that is not important|
|the final/last straw||the last in a series of unpleasant events that finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation|
|tick someone off||to speak severely to and criticize someone who has done something wrong|
|Up In Arms||angry or upset|
|Wind Someone Up||to close a business or organization|
Anger, with its fiery intensity, is a deeply visceral emotion, influencing our actions, reactions, and interactions. These idiomatic expressions serve as linguistic windows into this world of ire, allowing us to articulate our feelings with precision, flair, and depth. Whether someone’s blown their top or is simply seeing red, these idioms capture the intricate dance of human emotions in moments of rage. They remind us that, through shared expressions, we can connect, communicate, and perhaps even find catharsis in our collective experiences. In the vast spectrum of human emotions, these idioms stand as powerful testaments to our ability to capture and convey the tempestuous nature of anger, one phrase at a time.