I am boiling mad

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Maranello_rosso

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everyone.
Could you help me out?

Do native English speakers say like that: I am boiling mad or I am seetheing?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    "boiling mad" is an idiom not heard much anymore.

    Free dictionary link to "boiling mad" definition

    You do see it in slang dictionaries going back a ways.

    In 1966 a Mad Magazine compilation was entitled "Boiling Mad."





    Two different cover pictures of "Boiling Mad" -- third on top on top picture, top right in bottom picture.
     
    Last edited:

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I should also add that the two options have different meanings.

    "I am seething" means that the person is angry in a quiet but uncontrolled way. They are probably very grouchy and irritable, and low key stressed by the anger; they might feel like they want to hit something, but don't actually hit anything. The person who is seething is not shouting or lashing out in anger; their face is not turning red. They might be gritting their teeth or clenching their hand in a fist. This is also the case for "he is seething" - when said about another person, that person acts and probably feels similar.

    "I am boiling mad" means that the person is angry in a more determined way. They are probably writing a very pointed letter to the editor. They might shout, but intentionally for effect. But if one says "he is boiling mad" they might mean that, or they might mean they think he is on the verge of fury, where he would be red in the face and possibly shout without fully intending to do so, and maybe even lash out physically, hitting or kicking an object or a person.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think the phrase "boiling mad" is derived from a "pot boiling over". The metaphor being that the pot could not contain the boiling liquid, and the person could not contain the "boiling anger".

     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Seethe" is also a culinary term with a similar meaning (boil or simmer); I've encountered it in old recipes.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Seethe" is also a culinary term with a similar meaning (boil or simmer); I've encountered it in old recipes.
    I had no idea it was a cooking term. I often seen it used in relation to un-expressed anger (and I've used it myself).

    seethe
    Dictionary result for seethe
    /sēT͟H/
    verb
    1. (of a liquid) bubble up as a result of being boiled.
      "the brew foamed and seethed"
      synonyms: boil, bubble, simmer, foam, froth, rise, ferment, fizz, effervesce
      "the brew foamed and seethed"
      • ARCHAIC
        cook (food) by boiling it in a liquid.
        "others were cut into joints and seethed in cauldrons made of the animal's own skins"
      • (of a person) be filled with intense but unexpressed anger.
        "inwardly he was seething at the slight to his authority"
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    But "boiling" without qualification usually means rapid or full boil, while "simmer" means a lower slower boil.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    But "boiling" without qualification usually means rapid or full boil, while "simmer" means a lower slower boil.
    For me, "simmering anger" and "seething anger" would be very similar. It would be anger that is just beneath the surface and not quite expressed yet.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    PaulQ, does that mean you interpret it differently than the dictionary citation?
    No... I don't think so.

    I agree with You little ripper's observation, but was mainly referring to the energy of simmering, compared to seething, liquid applied to anger.

    We often hear "Simmer gently for 3 minutes" but I can't imagine anyone having written "Seethe gently for 3 minutes." - turmoil seethes. :)

    Although it all happens at 100 deg, I see the stages as
    Seethe > boil > simmer.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    "Seethe" is also a culinary term with a similar meaning (boil or simmer); I've encountered it in old recipes.
    "For to make Rabbits in Hodgepodge. Scald her, then hew her in gobbets all raw and seethe her in her own grease, and cast thereto ale or wine a good cup full, and mince onions small and put thereto, and boil it and serve it forth."
     
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