fb

Talking about anger in English

How can you describe someone who is angry? These words and expressions can be used to describe different strengths of anger, from mild anger to rage.

Mild anger

grumpy = someone who is often in a bad mood and complains a lot (esp old people): “He’s such a grumpy old man!”

crotchety = someone who is easily irritated: “I hate it when you’re in a crotchety mood.”

irritated = when something makes you a bit angry: “To be honest, I’m a bit irritated with my husband. He promised me dinner, then told me he had to work late.”

annoyed = irritated: “He really annoyed me, talking through the film.”

snappy = when you are in a bad mood and speak sharply to people: “She’s in a very snappy mood today.”

cross = angry: “It makes me very cross when people don’t stop at the pedestrian crossing.”

get out of bed on the wrong side = wake up in a bad mood: “Don’t expect any sympathy from Joe. He got out of bed on the wrong side this morning.”

be rubbed up the wrong way = to be put in a bad mood by someone: “Don’t worry too much about him. He was rubbed up the wrong way when we started talking about promotion.”

get up your nose = irritates: “It really gets up my nose when they start talking about football.”

get hot under the collar = become angry: “He got really hot under the collar when he couldn’t buy a train ticket.”

be in a strop / stroppy: easily angered: “She’s turning into a stroppy teenager.”

Very angry

pissed off (British slang) = angry: “I was really pissed off by her attitude.”

furious = very angry: “She was furious when he told her the news.”

livid = very angry: “I was absolutely livid when I found out.”

in a black mood = be very angry: “He always gets in a black mood when he sees his team lose.”

spitting mad = be very angry: “He got me spitting mad!”

see red = be uncontrollably angry: “When I realised she was lying, I just saw red.”

like a red rag to a bull = provoke someone to anger: “Talking about politics is like a red rag to a bull to him.”

be in a foul mood = be in a bad mood: “She was in a foul mood all last week.”

Your reactions

What can you say to someone who is mildly angry?

Keep your hair on! (Don’t lose your temper.)

Calm down!

Take it easy!

Don’t let it get to you. = don’t let something make you angry.

Turn the other cheek. = Ignore it.

Don’t get your knickers in a twist! (British slang) = Don’t let it affect you.

Speak English Fluently!

Hi! I’m Clare, an English teacher and the founder of this site.

I can help you speak English more easily! Start here for English fluency:
The Fast Phrase Finder – The world’s FIRST spreadsheet of fluency phrases. Get your first 10 English fluency phrases here!