How to Say Angry in British Slang: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you curious about how to express anger in British slang? Look no further! In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to convey anger in British English. While some regional variations may exist, we will focus on widely understood terms. Whether you’re looking to expand your vocabulary or simply want to understand the nuances of British slang, this article will provide you with plenty of tips and examples.

Formal Ways to Say Angry

In formal contexts, it’s important to use language that is appropriate and respectful. Here are a few phrases you can use to express anger without resorting to slang:

  • Upset – This term is commonly used in formal situations to express a mild frustration or annoyance. For example, “I’m really upset about the situation at work.”
  • Angry – A straightforward word that describes feeling displeased or enraged. For instance, “She was very angry when she found out about the broken vase.”
  • Mad – Another term used in formal settings to express anger. It emphasizes a stronger level of frustration. “He was mad at himself for forgetting the important meeting.”
  • Displeased – When you’re not happy with a situation, this term can signify your dissatisfaction. For example, “The customers were displeased with the poor service.”

Informal Ways to Say Angry

In casual conversations or informal settings, British slang allows for a more colorful array of expressions. Here are some commonly used slang terms to express anger:

  • Peeved – A term describing a mild annoyance or irritation. “She was really peeved when her favorite TV show got canceled.”
  • Livid – This slang word signifies extreme anger or fury. “He was absolutely livid when he discovered his car had been towed.”
  • Fuming – When you are extremely angry and seething with rage, you can say you’re fuming. For instance, “She’s fuming because her sister borrowed her clothes without asking.”
  • Spitting feathers – A vivid expression for being very angry. It refers to the image of someone so angry that they seem ready to spit feathers. For example, “He was spitting feathers when he saw the mess in the kitchen.”
  • Choked – This term expresses a sense of being angry or disappointed. It is commonly used in the phrase “I’m absolutely choked!” when something has gone wrong. For instance, “I’m absolutely choked that I missed the concert due to traffic.”

Regional Variations

While British slang is largely understood across the United Kingdom, some regional variations exist. Let’s dive into a few notable examples:

Cockney Rhyming Slang

Cockney rhyming slang is an East London dialect that replaces certain words with phrases that rhyme with them. To express anger, Cockney slang uses phrases like:

  • On the Hump – This phrase refers to being angry, stemming from the rhyming phrase “on the humpback whale.”
  • Chancing your arm – To take a risk that could make someone angry, derived from “chancing your harm.”
  • Brown Bread – If you say someone is “brown bread,” you’re essentially calling them “dead,” which could make you angry.

Scottish Slang

Scottish slang also has some unique expressions for anger. Here are a few examples:

  • Frothing – This term is used to describe someone who is extremely angry or raging, as if their anger is frothing. For example, “He was frothing when he discovered someone had scratched his car.”
  • Scunnered – When you’re completely fed up and frustrated, you can say that you’re “scunnered.” It implies a deep sense of anger or annoyance. For instance, “I’m absolutely scunnered with this never-ending rain.”

Remember, regional variations should be used sparingly and with caution. It’s important to be mindful of the context and the audience to ensure effective communication.


In conclusion, expressing anger in British slang can be both fun and useful. Whether you’re opting for a more formal approach or exploring the colorful world of informal expressions, there are plenty of words and phrases to suit your needs. From “upset” and “angry” to “peeved” and “spitting feathers,” British English offers a wide range of ways to convey your angry emotions.

Remember to use slang expressions appropriately and be aware of potential regional variations. By understanding the nuances of British slang for anger, you’ll be well on your way to truly grasping the intricacies of the language and connecting with native English speakers on a deeper level.

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