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Angry Idioms: Figurative Language Examples that Describe Anger

Updated on August 12, 2013

Angry Idioms - Figurative Language

Idioms are phrases or figures of speech. An idiom is a form of figurative language that stands for something else. It is an expression. Idioms are especially difficult for foreigners of any language. Idioms are not necessarily predictable in their use or context. Context clues are not easily identifiable when determining meaning. Idioms can vary within social classes, generations and region. Here is a list of 50 angry idioms in the English language...

Hubs on Idioms

10 Common Idioms Explained Fellow Hubber kerlynb offers this great hub from the ESL perspective. She identifies 10 common hubs and describes the significance of each.

Idioms for Idiots - Written by fellow Hubber marcofratelli. Offers a few idioms and explanations.

Gird Up Your Loins and Other Idioms - written by fellow Hubber MM Del Rosario. Offers ten idioms and the significance and use of each.

Amazon has several great books on idioms...

Idioms to Describe Anger:

  1. hot under the collar
  2. up in arms
  3. foaming at the mouth
  4. steamed up
  5. fit to be tied
  6. bent out of shape
  7. doing a slow burn
  8. seeing red
  9. ticked off
  10. teed off
  11. pissed off
  12. flare up
  13. hit the roof
  14. go up the wall
  15. go off the deep end
  16. a storms a brewing'
  17. she skinned me alive
  18. give it a rest
  19. he was a red flag to a bull
  20. now that's the last straw!
  21. fly off the handle
  22. I want his head on a platter
  23. he was angrier than a one armed paper hanger
  24. blow one's top
  25. drive me up the wall
  26. that made my blood boil!
  27. for Pete's sake!
  28. blow a fuse
  29. blow a gasket
  30. quit your harping
  31. I stepped on her toes
  32. he's more heat than light
  33. screaming bloody murder
  34. don't jump down my throat
  35. flip out
  36. have a bone to pick
  37. you've got your knickers in a twist
  38. don't get your panties in a wad
  39. go ballistic
  40. bite someones' head off
  41. for crying out loud!
  42. he was chewin' nails
  43. he was spittin' rivets
  44. she's just raggin' on me
  45. go postal
  46. flip one's wig
  47. a bad hair day
  48. blow ones stack
  49. have a conniption
  50. go bananas (this can also mean happy over something - depends on the context)

Idiom Websites and Resources

The Idiom Connection - offers an alphabetized list of idioms as well as idioms in the areas of religion, sports, money, legal, food and others.

The Idiom Site - offers an alphabetized list of random, but common idioms. - offers an interesting self test on idioms.

A Great ESL Video Lesson...

Educational hubs by MissOlive include;

MissOlive's hubs are written and published by,
marisa hammond olivares, copyright 2011
All rights reserved.


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    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      John Sarkis, I'm glad you enjoyed it and voted up. I appreciate it :)

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub missolive. What can I say? (another figurative phrase...) I love philology very much. Thanks for putting together this wonderful and insightful article about Vernacularism in the USA

      Voted up


    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Victoria Lyn - Thank you Vicki! Yup, there are far more Angry Idioms than Happy Idioms. Thanks for the votes :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow! Amazing that there are so many for anger! That's too cool. Nice hub. Many votes!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Docmo - Thank you. Finding and using different idioms is fun. I almost blew a gasket when I realized I had not responded to your comment, but I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

      Civil War Bob - Isn't that something? That made me sad as well. I hope to be able to add more HAPPY idioms along the way. I'm tickled pink that you came by. :)

      Millionair Tips - Hi Shasta! Yes, there are quite a few and I'm sure I left off boatloads of other angry idioms. Have fun adding these to your daily vocabulary. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Wow, there certainly are a lot of idioms to help describe how angry we are. No need for cussing when we have these. There were only a couple that I hadn't heard, but I think I would be able to recognize the anger behind them if I heard them.

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 5 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      I just read both Happy and Angry Idioms, missolive...both were well done. One sad thing I noticed is that you found twice as many angry idioms as happy ones. Seems as though there's a hub in that commentary on human nature. Oh, "happy as a hog in slop" would diminish the ratio a bit! Have a good day.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      Great selection of idioms on blowing one's top. Nicely collated Missolive, loved recapping them. Voted up! .

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Hi Natashaih! I had fun putting this together. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 6 years ago from Hawaii

      Really fun collection. Thanks!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Sannel! Hi! LOL you are too funny! Thank you for reading and sharing! :)

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      Marisa - I enjoyed this hub as much as your happy idioms hub. I will not get my knickers in a twist over this one. Hehe!

    • profile image

      Pete Moss 6 years ago

      You're pretty cool, too, missolive ;-)

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Deborah - glad I got a giggle out of you :)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

      This made me giggle. Thanks. : )

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Pete Moss is Burning the Midnight Oil :)

    • profile image

      Pete Moss 6 years ago

      (One more thing about salt, then back to the topic: Roman soldiers were paid in salt. "Salary" comes from the Roman word for salt.)

    • profile image

      Pete Moss 6 years ago

      Salt was often used as payment for whatever was being sold, from work, to people, to animals, to land, to a boat, etc., etc., etc. If it needed to be paid for in any way, salt was always an acceptable method.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Communication is a many splindid process. Each culture have their own idioms. The origins are intgeresting. An Example: "Not worth his salt," is from the bartering of slaves for salt.

      Thanks for sharing! Another flag up!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Wow I use some of these and some I forgot about! I won't be going postal on this hub, it's awesome!!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I think foaming at the mouth was a metaphor for rabies.I notice a few of these like "bent out of shape" are fairly recent, if you consider 1960s recent.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Pete Moss - interesting name. :)

    • profile image

      Pete Moss 6 years ago

      Angry Idioms!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      kerlynb - I'm very glad you enjoyed the hub. Foaming at the mouth has always made me think of a dog with rabies....yikes!

      Thank you for visiting and commenting

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      missolive, I'm a user of English as a Second Language and this hub just gave me 50 ways of saying "I'm mad!" Thank you sooooo much! BTW, "foaming at the mouth" is so visual! Like it :)

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      homesteadbound - those are great suggestions! It's interesting to see how many angry idioms revolve around the theme of heat.

      Glad you stopped by.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      how about letting off steam?

      or, that just gets my goat?

      or, that just steams me!

      Great hub. I liked the happy one too.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Techbook - thank you. Don't underestimate "techie" images - be creative :)

      Dex! So glad to see you stopped by! I just love idioms! I like to use them in the classroom - I challenge my students to use them with their other teachers (giggle)

      MovieMaster - glad you enjoyed the list. I've also wondered about #21 myself. I always imagine some sort of hot iron skillet - ouch!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      A great 'fun' list, looking at number 21 'flying off the handle' I wonder how that came about!

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Hi Miss Olive! Ditto to my comment listed in the "Happy Idioms" hub! Great hub!

    • Techbook profile image

      Techbook 6 years ago from India

      I thought so as I spent some good time to figure it out but couldn't but hey the profile of your's look too stunning and colorful. I can't get the same though since I'm a techie and the subjects related to Tech can't be colorful hahahahahha. Thank you once again for the swift reply on this one.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Hi Tech - glad to see you stopped by. The "MissOlive's Favorite Topics" is generated by HubPages. I'm not sure how they gather the info, but it is a nice feature to have on our Profile's. They probably pick it up from the TOPICS we usually write about. If they are not showing up yet you probably still have just a few hubs - it should kick in eventually. Thanks for the question, MissOlive / Marisa

    • Techbook profile image

      Techbook 6 years ago from India

      Olive... thank you for that. I didn't get that first time until you wrote that to me. I'm so fortunate to follow you on this one. Now my hubs are looking much better. There is one more thing that I need to achieve. On your profile page how did you manage to get this one "Some of missolive's Favorite Topics" Was it from Hubpages or did you customize it.

      I wish i could send a Accolades for the tip you provided to me.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Hi Techbook - thank you for stopping by. Great question - it is actually very easy to achieve the sidebar. Any capsule that is reduced (click capsule arrow to right) and is on the right hand side can have color added. Just check the top of that particular capsule and you will see the option just under its respective title. Hope this helps! MissOlive

    • Techbook profile image

      Techbook 6 years ago from India

      Olive...Hubs on Idioms I wonder how you got that Grey Widget on your page. It's looking awesome with the layout.

      Is it the layout design or am I missing something. I'm sure I want to use in future.