How to describe someone who "holds a grudge" ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by indigoduck, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. indigoduck Senior Member

    Canadian English
    Hi all,

    How to call/describe someone who has the characteristic of "holding a grudge" towards you ?

    Would you call them "stingy", "emotionally stingy" or even the opposite of "generous"... or simply "grudge holder".

    But i don't think this term exists in english.

    For example:
    Me: "Lend me 5 bucks ?"
    Them: "Why should i lend you 5 bucks? You didn't lend it to me last time"

    Thanks in advance.
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I'd be tempted to use a word like "unforgiving" to describe our grudge holder.
  3. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
  4. Aserolf

    Aserolf Senior Member

    Colorado, USA
    Yes, 'resentful' is the word...
  5. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I think "resentful" works; however, somebody can be resentful about some particular thing without being a person who characteristically holds grudges. If I wanted to make that distinction, I would modify "resentful" with some other adverb like "characteristically", "chronically", "often/frequently", or "by nature": He's chronically resentful/ he's resentful by nature.
  6. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    I could suggest that grudging or begrudging are the best adjectives to describe somebody who bears a grudge.

    NB indigoduck - normally "bear" not "hold" a grudge - at least in BE.
  7. indigoduck Senior Member

    Canadian English
    My carelessness. Nope, you're right, "bear" a grudge rather than "hold" in America as well. I assume BE means "British English".
  8. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I assume BE means "British English"--That's right, Indigo Duck.
  9. HalfEmptyHero Junior Member

    American English
    You could also say "He has a chip on his shoulder."
  10. Cagey post mod

    English - US
    That's interesting. I would use grudging and begrudging to describe someone who helps or cooperates with others only reluctantly. I don't know whether that is an AE/BE difference, or whether it is something specific to me.

    If someone tended to remember every time they thought they had been wronged, or treated unfairly, I would call them unforgiving, as Owlman suggests.

    If someone seemed to enjoy holding a grudge, or to treat them as bigger than they originally were, I would say that they "nursed a grudge", or "nursed grudges". I can't think of an adjective that would say the same thing.
  11. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    You can also say "rancorous", although it's quite a formal term.

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