Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Idioms: anger

Type: Article

Never one to blow his top, Tim Bowen takes a deep breath and calmly delivers some idioms related to rage.

Most people get angry from time to time. Various things can get your back up (annoy you) or get on your nerves (irritate you). In more extreme cases things can drive you up the wall, drive you mad, drive you nuts or drive you round the bend (all four expressions mean make you furious), as in ‘That car alarm nearly drove me up the wall last night. Why didn’t he go out and switch it off?’

If you are feeling angry, your degree of anger might range from feeling a bit cheesed off (rather annoyed) to being hopping mad (absolutely furious), as in ‘I was hopping mad when I found out they had cheated me’. In the latter situation, you might demonstrate your anger and go spare, blow a fuse, blow a gasket or do your nut (all meaning get extremely angry).

A long-term problem that has been building up your anger might make you say ‘I’ve had it up to here’, as in ‘I’ve had it up to here with this stupid printer’. If the person who has caused the situation is within earshot, you might give them a dressing down (speak to them angrily because they have done something wrong), give them a piece of your mind (let them know exactly what you think of them) or give them an earbashing or give them an earful (criticize them angrily).

If you are extremely angry, it is probably a good idea to let off steam (express your feelings of anger). Otherwise, you might blow your top (explode with anger).

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