"The population was up in arms over the demolition of the
Get off my back!If you tell somebody to get off your back, you ask them to stop
finding faults or criticizing you.
A bad hair dayOriginating as a humorous comment about one's hair being
unmanageable, this term has broadened to mean 'a day
when everything seems to go wrong'."What's wrong with Jenny? Is she having a bad hair day?"Like a bear with a sore headIf someone is behaving like a bear with a sore head, they are
very irritable and bad-tempered.
"When his team lost the match, Brad was like a bear with a sore
Bite someone's head offIf you bite someone's head off, you criticize them strongly
(and perhaps unfairly).
"I worked 10 hours a day all week and my boss bit my head
off for not doing my share of the work!"
Blow a fuseIf you blow a fuse, you suddenly lose your temper and become
"Charlie blew a fuse yesterday when he discovered that his
ipod had been stolen."Blow your topIf you blow your top, you suddenly become very angry."When my mother saw the state of the apartment after the party,
she blew her top!"
Have a bone to pick with someoneTo say that you have a bone to pick with somebody means that
you are annoyed with them and want to talk to them about it.
In somebody's good/bad booksIf you are in somebody's good or bad books, you have their
approval or disapproval."I'm in my wife's bad books at the moment because I forgot our
Cheesed offIf someone is cheesed off with something, they are annoyed,
bored or frustrated.
"Julie is absolutely cheesed off with her job.
For crying out loudThis expression is used to show irritation, exasperation or anger.
"For crying out loud! Turn that television off!"
Cut no ice (with somebody)If something cuts no ice, it has no effect or makes no
impression on someone.
"Her explanation cut no ice with the teacher who said he would
tolerate no more unjustified absences."
Cut it out!If you say cut it out to someone, you are telling them to stop
"I've had enough of your insinuations, so just cut it out!"
Drive up the wallIf somebody or something drives you up the wall, they do something
that greatly annoys or irritates you."I can't concentrate with all the noise - it's driving me up the wall!"
Get/take flakIf you get or take flak, you receive severe criticism for something
you have done.
"He got a lot of flak for the way he handled the situation."
Flea in one's earAfter an attempt at something, if you are sent away with a flea
in your ear, you are angrily reprimanded or humiliated."When he tried to put the blame on Pete, he was sent away with
a flea in his ear."
Fly off the handleA person who flies off the handle becomes suddenly very angry.
"Dad flew off the handle when I told him I had damaged his
Foam at the mouthSomeone who foams at the mouth is extremely angry about
something."The director was foaming at the mouth when he saw a picture
of his children in the newspaper."
Get your knickers in a twist. If you get your knickers in twist, you are angry, nervous or upset
faced with a difficult situation
"Don't get your knickers in a twist! Everything is under control."
Get a rise out of somebodyIf you make someone react angrily by jokingly saying something
that you know will irritate them, you get a rise
out of them."He gets a rise out of his daughter by asking about her latest diet."
Get in someone's hair If you are getting in somebody's hair, you are annoying
them so much that they can't get on with what they're doing.
"I'd finish the report more quickly if my colleague wasn't getting
in my hair all the time!"
Give it a rest!If someone tells you to give it a rest, they are asking you to stop
doing something such as complaining or talking continuously."All you talk about is politics - give it a rest...please! "
Give the (rough) of one's tongueIf you give the (rough) edge of your tongue, you scold
someone severely or speak to them very aggressively or rudely.
"My boss was so angry that I really got the rough edge of his
Give someone a tongue-lashingWhen you scold someone severely, you give them a tongue-
"The teacher gave Jeremy a tongue-lashing when he arrived late
Go off the deep endA person who goes off the deep end becomes suddenly
very angry or emotional.
"The old lady went off the deep end when her cat was killed."
Go through the roof If someone goes through the roof, they become very angry"His father went through the roof when Paul damaged his new car."
Good riddance!This expression is used to express relief at becoming free of an
unpleasant or unwanted person or thing."Our horrible neighbour has moved house, and all I can say is
Harp on (about) somethingIf you harp on (about) something, you tire others by
continuously and tediously talking about it.
"My parents are always harping on about my school results."
Haul someone over the coalsIf you haul someone over the coals, you reprimand them
harshly because they have done something wrong or incorrectly.
"He was hauled over the coals for the poor quality of his
Hot under the collarIf you get hot under the collar, you feel annoyed, indignant or
"If anyone criticizes his proposals, Joe immediately gets hot
under the collar."
Look daggers at someoneSomeone who looks daggers at another looks at them very
"David looked daggers at Paul when he invited his new girlfriend
Make one's hackles riseIf someone makes your hackles rise, they make you angry.
"Her constant criticism really makes my hackles rise!"
Make a song and danceIf someone complains in an annoying way or becomes
unnecessarily excited about something unimportant, they
make a song and dance about it.
"OK. You don't like carrots! There's no need to make a song
and dance about it!"
More heat than lightIf a discussion or debate generates more heat than light, it
causes anger or intense reaction but doesn't clarify anything.
"The meeting that was held to discuss the problem generated
more heat than light."
Kick yourselfIf you feel like kicking yourself, you are angry with yourself for
something you have done or not done.
"I could have kicked myself for forgetting Julie's birthday."
Like a red flag to a bullTo say that a statement or action is like a red flag to a bull
means that it is sure to make someone very angry or upset.
"Don't mention Tom's promotion to Mike. It would be like a red
flag to a bull!
Like a ton of bricksIf somebody comes down on you like a ton of bricks, they criticize
you severely because you have done something wrong.
"If you mix up the order the boss will come down on you like a
ton of bricks!"
Have a quick temperIf you have a quick temper, you get angry very easily.
"He makes me nervous - he's got such a quick temper."
Rant and raveIf you rant and rave about something, you protest noisily and
"The old man ranted and raved about the new waste collection
system, but he had to accept it."
Rap on the knucklesIf someone gets a rap on/across the knuckles, they are
punished or reprimanded, not very severely, but as a reminder
not to do that again."Andy got a rap on the knuckles for coming home late."
Road rageAggressive driving habits sometimes resulting in violence against
"A number of car accidents today are a result of road rage."
Scream blue murderSomeone who screams blue murder shouts or complains
very loudly as if something very serious has happened.
"The crowd started screaming blue murder when the football
match was interrupted."
Short fuseWhen someone has a short fuse, they are likely to become
angry easily or quickly.
"Be careful how you explain the situation. The boss has a very
short fuse these days!"
See redIf someone sees red, they suddenly become very angry or a
nnoyed about something.
"Discrimination of any kind makes me see red!"
ruffled feathersIf you smooth somebody's ruffled feathers, you make that
person feel less angry or offended.
"Tom took the criticism badly, but James managed to smooth
his ruffled feathers"
Steamed upIf someone is or gets steamed up about something, they
become very angry, excited or enthusiastic about it.
"Calm down - there's no need to get all steamed up about it! "
A storm is brewingTo say that a storm is brewing means that the atmosphere
indicates that there is going to be trouble, probably with outbursts
of anger or emotion.
"As soon as we saw Pete's face, we knew there was a storm
Tear a strip off someoneIf you tear a strip off someone, you reprimand them severely
for doing something wrong.
"The teacher tore a strip off Charlie for being late again."
That makes my blood boil!If something makes your blood boil, it makes you really angry.
"His condescending attitude made my blood boil!"
That's going too far! If you go too far, you do something that is considered extreme or
"Stealing is bad, but stealing from a poor person - that's
going too far!"
That takes the biscuit!This expression refers to something very irritating or annoying.
"After waiting for an hour, we were told that there were no seats
left. That really took the biscuit!"
That's the last straw!The expression means that this is the latest unpleasant event,
and that you cannot tolerate the situation any longer.
"The kids are screaming, dinner is not ready, and now the dog
has run away - that's the last straw!
Vent your spleenWhen you vent your spleen, you release or express all your
anger about something.
"Whenever Jack is angry about new government measures,
he vents his spleen by writing to newspapers."
Wink of sleepIf someone doesn't get a wink of sleep, they don't sleep at all.
"It was so noisy in the hotel, I didn't get a wink of sleep."