We can hardly imagine what a big job our brain does for us to feel anger and be able to distinguish it from, say, sorrow or happiness. Our brain tries even much harder to enable us to restrain this negative feeling, brace ourselves and refrain from throwing something heavy at the disturber of our peace. But surely, we never want them to get away with that easily.
Indeed, we are very well thought-out beings. Instead of using brute force to set the things right and let the disturber understand how we feel, we usually have recourse to our language. And facial expression or gestures, obviously.
My personal experience shows that quite often smartly selected and combined words can have a much greater effect on people than anything like slapping in the face. Especially when I’m writing to these people, not speaking eye-to-eye. So, what’s the secret?
I guess you understand that it’s quite absurd to write something like “I am sincerely sorry to say this, but the challenge you posed to me without any evil intention has made me feel somewhat uncomfortable and even repelled me.” Certainly, the addressee will be impressed by such style. But it isn’t likely to report to him or her exactly what you mean.
So, today I decided to present my collection of unambiguous, extremely clear and meaningful phrases that will help you express your emotion so well, that the addressee will understand you perfectly and still won’t take any offence. Check them out and use wisely in your essays, letters, as well as in your posts on Twitter and messages to your mates.
I’m Just up in Arms!
It means you are so angry that you are ready to grasp a dagger and… Alright, I think you understand me. But do you know that the usage of this idiom was literal in the 16th-17th centuries?
At that time an armed rebellion was probably the most popular way of notifying the local authorities that common people weren’t satisfied with some laws and regulations. It’s another question who was interested in such rebellions. So, we won’t discuss it today.
Yet, when folks got angry, they took weapons and went to express their opinions on the main sources of their dissatisfaction. Although the modern society is encouraged to do it in a less aggressive way, unfortunately it still proves to be the most efficient.
The idiom has been used figuratively since 1700s. Here’s how you can insert it in your essay: “I was up in arms about the Committee’s decision, but I could do nothing.”
I Blew a Fuse Yesterday
Did you feel like you could just explode with anger? Use this idiom to describe your feelings.
Interestingly, it originates from the technical sphere. A fuse is a special safety wire or device in electrical equipment. If anything goes wrong and the equipment gets hotter than it should be, the fuse burns or blows.
Science has proved that the temperature of our bodies rises when we become angry. So, it’s quite obvious that something irritating can blow your inner fuse, which supports your normal mental activity. And you need some time to restart and function properly again.
Here’s another example of how to use this phrase in writing: “I was very close to blowing a fuse after his accusations, but I remained silent.”
I’m Totally Cheesed off with It
Yes, it’s pure slang. What’s more, it’s really difficult to explain why the so well-known noun “cheese” was turned into a verb and how it’s original meaning can be correlated with anger and irritation.
We can only guess. Probably, it’s somehow connected with the process of cheese making. It’s long and sophisticated. And its final result has nothing in common with the initial components, which actually launch this process. I mean milk and some special bacteria. Or the meaning can be associated with unpleasant smell and taste of cheese that’s gone bad.
Anyway, when you say or write to your younger sibling “Oh, come on, I’m really cheesed off with your behavior”, they should interpret this as “what you’ve been doing for these two hours is turning me into an angry someone I don’t want to be.”
I’m Fit to Be Tied!
“Please someone tie me up! Or I’ll definitely give him a kick!” You can often hear these lines in westerns and action movies. No matter which intonation the character uses to inform those around them about the coming catastrophe, their intentions are more than clear.
When you believe you are fit to be tied, you are so angry and nervous that you can’t think calmly and come up with a reasonable solution to a problem. You feel like you need something to restrain you, to prevent you from doing something irretrievable.
Catch one more example: “I was fit to be tied when my teacher blamed me for what my mate did.”
I’ll Definitely Fly off the Handle
This idiom is more typical for American and Canadian English. Probably because it is said to be first used by Thomas Chandler Haliburton, a writer, politician and judge who came from Nova Scotia, a Canadian province. He’s even considered to be an inventor of this phrase. If you’re interested, you can try to find it in his “The Attache: Or Sam Slick in England”.
How did Mr. Haliburton coin this idiom? Now imagine a woodcutter with an axe, cutting trees eagerly, using his greatest strength. The big force of the blows looses a head of an axe. So, one day it might fly off the handle. See where it stems from?
The force that deprives us of harmony and peace is sometimes really so strong, that it manages to carry us away even from the core of a conflict. And that usually happens too fast, so we have hardly any opportunity to resist this force.
That’s how you can interpret the idiom. And here’s one more example for you to be sure how to use it in an essay: “I knew that if I told my friend about that, she would fly off the handle. But I could not hide that fact from her.”
His Behavior Makes Me Hot Under the Collar
Remember we’ve already mentioned the fact that our bodies do get hotter when something or somebody enrages us. Besides, the words which may literally get stuck in our throats at such moments make us feel even worse. And the tight collar of your shirt only adds to the overall heat.
Is it familiar to you? Perhaps something like that. So, now you know how to describe it: “It makes me hot under the collar when people forget my name. Though I cannot explain why.”
I’m Going off the Deep End
The literal meaning of this phrase is “to jump from a diving board into a swimming pool where the water is over your head”. Exactly this part of the pool is called a deep end.
However, in the U.S. the idiom has somehow acquired the meaning close to the idea of losing self-control and getting extremely angry. Also, it can stand for “going mad”, both figuratively and literally.
In order to comprehend these meanings better, imagine that you’re diving into the deep water. It’s all around you. It presses you. It’s getting more and more difficult to breathe. Won’t you feel the same when you get furious with something?
Let’s see how you can use this idiom in a college paper: “Unfairness. It could easily make my Granddad go off the deep end.”
That Made Me Go Through the Roof!
Speaking honestly, I didn’t know about this idiom before I did the research. But when I discovered it in a dictionary, I immediately remembered “Alice in Wonderland”, the Disney cartoon. To be precise, the episode when Alice gets to Rabbit’s house and eats a cookie which makes her extremely tall.
Actually, this idiom has several meanings. It can stand for “becoming extremely high” if you’re speaking about prices, for example; or “reaching new heights” if you’re speaking about economics. So, will you ask me why it can also be a synonym for “getting angry”?
I can only suggest that such meaning is connected with those funny cartoons or comic books whose characters do go through the roof when they get furious. Still, I’m not sure about it.
Whatever, you can use this phrase in your essays when you want to write about anything irritating: “She saw me for the first time in my life and claimed that she could read me like a book! I was ready to go through the roof!”
I Saw Red When She Said That
Red is considered the colour of aggression and anger. Paradoxically, it’s also attributed to the realm of love and affection. But today the latter isn’t our case.
Let’s get back to anger. Due to this emotion your brain increases blood pressure in your organism. So, when the situation is really bad and your rage knows no bounds, the blood may rise in your eyes. As a result, it may seem to you that you really see everything in the red haze.
Here’s how you can write: “I start seeing red when someone talks rudely to me.”
That Takes the Biscuit!
The original meaning of this idiom is positive. A biscuit or cake was and still is a prize for winning a competition. If something or someone takes a biscuit, the situation implies the best results or consequences.
However, you can add a pinch of irony to it. And then what or who takes a biscuit becomes the first negative character of your story. The character whose ability to make you angry could take the first prize in an imaginary contest for being the best factor of irritation.
And here’s the finishing touch for my post and your essay: “Despite the fact that sometimes the way someone apologises rather takes the biscuit, it is good to know that this person admits the fault.”
P.S. Losing temper is not good for your health. So, keep calm and don’t fly off the handle.