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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to anger, annoyance or irritation   
from:  'up in arms'   to: 'get/take flak'

  • up in arms
    • "If you are up in arms about something, you are very angry."
      "The population was up in arms over the demolition of the old theatre."

  • get off my back!
    • If you tell someone to get off your back, you are annoyed and ask them to stop finding fault or criticizing you.
      "Liz, please, get off my back! You've been making comments about my work all morning!"

  • bear with a sore head
    • If 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 head."

  • bete noire
    • The French expression ‘bete noire’ (meaning black beast) is used to refer to a person or thing that you dislike or dread, or something that you find very annoying.
      "My father’s bete noire is cigarette butts crushed on the lawn. That irritates him no end!”

  • bite someone's head off
    • If 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!"

  • (be) in a black mood
    • To be in a black mood means to be irritable, angry or even depressed.
      "You'd better keep away from Bill today.  He's in a black mood."

  • blow a fuse
    • If you blow a fuse, you suddenly lose your temper and become very angry.
      "Charlie blew a fuse yesterday then he discovered that his bike had been stolen."

  • blow a gasket
    • When a furious person blows a gasket, they explode with anger.
      "When the shop was burgled for the third time, the owner blew a gasket."

  • blow your top
    • If you blow your top, you suddenly become very angry.
      "When my mother saw the state of the house after the party, she blew her top!"

  • (have a) bone to pick with someone
    • If you have a bone to pick with someone, you are annoyed with them and want to talk to them about it.
      "Mark wants to see the boss. He says he's got a bone to pick with him."

  • be cheesed off
    • If someone is cheesed off with something, they are annoyed, bored or frustrated.
      "Jenny is absolutely cheesed off with her job."

  • come down on someone like a ton of bricks
    • If someone 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!"

  • for crying out loud!
    • This expression is used to show irritation, exasperation or anger.
      "For crying out loud, turn that television off!"

  • cut it out!
    • If you say 'cut it out' to someone, you are telling them to stop doing something.
      "I've had enough of your insinuations, so just cut it out!"

  • drive someone up the wall
    • If 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."

  • eat someone alive
    • If you criticize someone severely because you are angry with them, you eat them alive.
      (You can also be eaten alive - bitten repeatedly -  by insects.)
      "The boss will eat me alive if the report arrives late."

  • fit to be tied
    • Someone who is fit to be tied is extremely irritated, upset or angry.
      "Harry was fit to be tied when his dog dug up the flowers he had planted."

  • get/take flak
    • If you get or take flak, you receive severe criticism for something you have done.
      "Harry got a lot of flak for the way he handled the situation."

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 Anger-Annoyance ... 

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