Archives for posts with tag: anger

Simmering with rage is like a pan of liquid boiling steadily.

To see red is an idiom about getting angry.  It could describe a sort of red mist coming down in front of one’s eyes.  Does this really happen?

Get one’s hackles up.  Hackles are the long feathers on a cockerel’s neck.  In days when cock-fighting was popular no explanation would have been needed for this expression about becoming angry.

To have a tantrum is a way of drawing attention to oneself.  The Concise Oxford Dictionary describes it as an outburst of temper or petulance.  Children may have tantrums due to frustration at their inability to perform as well as they would like to or just as a form of rebellion.

They give me the pip means they annoy or irritate me.  This comes from the slang meaning of the word pip meaning a fit of disgust or depression.  Seeds of certain fruits are pips and so are stars indicating an officer’s rank.  There are other meanings as well.

Rubbing someone up the wrong way annoys them.  Young children are taught to stroke pet animals the way their fur grows.

You either love it or hate it.  Marmite?


British Marmite Photo credit Wikipedia

In a quandary is not knowing what to do.  Decisions, decisions

Get a grip means pull yourself together.  Or take control of your situation.  People grip things with their hands, which is perhaps how a hold-all acquired the alternative name of a grip.

A real set-to is a fierce argument.

Tit for tat is the equivalent of the Old Testament ideas of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Pick a quarrel is to go looking for a heated argument.  Sometimes after a quarrel it can be very difficult to kiss and make up.

Cross swords with is a metaphor going back to the days of sword-fights.

A bone of contention is an issue, which people cannot agree over.

Fight or flight are the two choices facing people where there is the likelihood of a disagreement.

An amicable arrangement is a friendly one which may have been arrived at by negotiation.

I don’t begrudge you that because I am not jealous.

To hold it against someone that…

…is another way of bearing a grudge.

Bear a grudge means carry it around with you.

Nursing a grudge feeds it and is the opposite of the teaching of the New Testament. Ephesians 4: 26 (NIV) “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but harsh words never hurt you.

How many times have you heard this?  Repetition does not make something true!  Hurt feelings can take longer to heal than physical injuries.

be careful what you say lest you
cut someone to the quick.
The quick here is the living tissue around finger- and toe-nails.

Try not to put your foot in it.
There is a lovely expression about tactlessness.
“Every time he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it.”  He must be a contortionist!

Here are some expressions used in arguments.

There’s a world of difference.

That’s beyond reason.

I don’t take kindly to that
means “I don’t like what you said”.

That takes the biscuit and
that puts the tin lid on it
indicate surprise and often disbelief.

Seeing that you’ve mentioned it
is the introduction to a complaint, which might not otherwise have been made.

When someone is angry or “worked up” about something they might be told to calm down.

Don’t get hot under the collar.
Anger often makes for a hot neck.  Even someone who is not wearing a shirt or blouse with a collar can be given this warning!

Don’t get airiated.
This has the same meaning, but I have been unable to find the word in a dictionary.  I have tried various spellings.  Can anyone help?

Keep your hair on.
The imagery here defeats me!  Is it a wig or a toupé?

She blew her top.
I have visions of a steam train or a safety valve.

She flew off the handle.
There is another expression about keeping a handle on something.  By losing her temper, she failed to do this.

Bury the hatchet.
A hatchet is another word for an axe.  If a quarrel or even a feud might have led to violence, this advice seems appropriate.  For a less serious difference of opinion it might be meant as a light-hearted remark.  Either way it has found its way into the vernacular.  According to Brewer in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, it originated with the American Indians.

They patched things up (after a quarrel).
Quarrels can do a lot of damage to a relationship unless both sides can apologise afterwards.

St Paul wrote to the Ephesians Chapter 4 verse 26 (NIV) “In your anger do not sin”;  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

He was quoting David in Psalm 4 verse 4 (NIV) In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.