Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n., pl. -ries.
bite [someone’s] head off To answer curtly or sharply out of anger or annoyance, to snap at in reply; also to bite or snap [someone’s] nose off. Although the nose was apparently the original object of the biting or snapping in this expression (predating head by nearly three centuries) head is more commonly heard today.
I … ask’d him if he was at leisure for his chocolate, … but he snap’d my nose off; no, I shall be busy here these two hours. (Susanna Centlivre, The Busybody, 1709)
blow a fuse To lose one’s temper; to become angry or violent; to respond emotionally and dramatically. These figurative meanings of blow a fuse allude to the fact that a fuse will blow if there is an overload on an electrical circuit. By the same token, a person can only stand so much before “reaching the breaking point” and “blowing up.”
Relax … or you’ll blow a fuse. (S. J. Perelman, Listen to the Mocking Bird, 1949)
To have or be on a short fuse is to be short-tempered, to be quick to blow a fuse.
blow a gasket To lose one’s temper. When the gasket sealing an automobile cylinder wears out, pressure in the cylinder cannot be contained and the contents spurt out. So too, when life is not running smoothly and patience has worn thin, the result is often uncontrollable, angry outbursts.
blow off steam To discharge suppressed feelings, especially resentment; to release tension by loud talking or shouting. This phrase alludes to actual steam engines, boilers, etc., which allow pressure to build up to a certain point, after which it is released forcibly and noisily. Figurative use of the phrase dates from the early 19th century.
The widow … sat … fuming and blowing off her steam. (Frederick Marryat, The Dog-Fiend, 1837)
blow one’s stack To be unable to contain one-self; to lose control. As a smokestack discharges smoke and soot, a fired-up person gives vent to angry, resentful words.
blow one’s top To lose control; to fly off the handle; to be unable to contain one-self; also blow one’s lid. This slang phrase plays on an analogy comparing the top of one’s head to a lid. When a container is about to burst because of the internal pressure, the lid will fly off to allow the pressure to escape. Similarly, when one can no longer bear the pressure of intense emotions building up, one “loses one’s head.”
He blew his top and lost his job and came bellyaching to Loraine. (John Steinbeck, The Wayward Bus, 1947)
duck-fit An outburst or fit of anger, a conniption fit. This American slang term, in use since at least 1900, is probably an allusion to the loud quacking of a mad duck.
fly off the handle To become furious, often suddenly and without warning; to lose self-control. The tendency of an ax blade to fly off its handle when forcefully struck against an object is the apparent origin of this expression. The current use of the phrase is almost exclusively in reference to loss of temper.
He reckoned you would … get good and mad, fly off the handle … (C. E. Mulford, Orphan, 1908)
hit the ceiling To be enraged, agitated, or violently angry; to lose one’s temper, to blow one’s top. This slang expression dates from the early 1900s. Currently, hit the roof is a frequently employed variant.
Larry hit the ceiling and said he had to come along, that he’d spoil everything if he didn’t. (E. Dundy, Dud Avocado, 1958)
slow burn Gradual intensification of anger; escalation from a low level of displeasure to a high pitch of rage. This originally U.S. colloquial phrase dates from the early 1900s. Wentworth and Flexner (Dictionary of American Slang) attribute the phrase to the 1930s comedian Leon Carroll who was apparently well known for his facial expression of that name. Slow burn referred to the gradual reddening of his face as he took on the image of an enraged man.
His slow burn at a Minnesota prof’s constant use of the name when he was a student…. (New Yorker, March 3, 1951)
This phrase is often heard in the longer expression do a slow burn.
|Noun||1.||fury - a feeling of intense anger; "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"; "his face turned red with rage"|
anger, ire, choler - a strong emotion; a feeling that is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance
wrath - intense anger (usually on an epic scale)
lividity - a state of fury so great the face becomes discolored
|2.||fury - state of violent mental agitation |
nympholepsy - a frenzy of emotion; as for something unattainable
manic disorder, mania - a mood disorder; an affective disorder in which the victim tends to respond excessively and sometimes violently
|3.||fury - the property of being wild or turbulent; "the storm's violence"|
|4.||Fury - (classical mythology) the hideous snake-haired monsters (usually three in number) who pursued unpunished criminals|
classical mythology - the system of mythology of the Greeks and Romans together; much of Roman mythology (especially the gods) was borrowed from the Greeks
Alecto - one of the three Furies
Megaera - one of the three Furies
Tisiphone - one of the three Furies
anger calm, composure, calmness, equanimity