piss me off/drive me nuts

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jiamajia, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. jiamajia

    jiamajia Senior Member

    Do the two phrases 'piss me off' and 'drive me nuts' mean the same and can almost be used interchangeably?

    I am making two sentences:
    1---His bigotry on Islam drives me nuts.
    2---His bigotry on Islam pisses me off.
  2. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    "Drives me nuts," in my opinion, emphasizes your frustration; the other emphasizes your anger.

    The larger difference, though, is that "pisses me off" is more vulgar, although it's accepted in more circumstances than it used to be.
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Yes, in a broad sense they are simply an emphatic form of "annoys me."

    More specifically,

    To drive someone nuts = to irritate someone [to the point of insanity and] to the point of anger.

    e.g. "Will you stop singing that bloody song time after time! You can't sing properly and it's driving me nuts!"

    To piss someone off = to disappoint or irritate someone so badly that they reach a point of anger.

    e.g. "He told us to arrive at 05:30 and he would take us to the match but he isn't here and hasn't 'phoned us! That sort of thing really pisses me off."
  4. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I agree.

    Drive me nuts = Drive me to distraction

    Pisses me off = Angers me

    These are not interchangeable terms. I currently find it is a rare situation where I felt I could not say "pisses me off".

    "Pissed off" is often abbreviated in conversation: He was really P.O.'d (Pissed off) This strictly speaking should be P'd O., but it is alway "P.O.'d" (I've heard it spoken, I've never seen it written, and I'm uncertain that my spelling is the best choice. It could be "P.O.'ed".
  5. jiamajia

    jiamajia Senior Member

    Thank you all for the replies. By the way, a woman or girl is not supposed to say 'piss me off' when she's really upset about something, is it right?
  6. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    There's no grammatical or logical reason why a woman can't say "piss me off." I confess that I sometimes say it. There might be cultural differences in the amount of vulgarity (and "piss me off" is slightly vulgar) that's allowed to a woman vs. the amount allowed to a man. I kind of doubt if we can summarize those here - and they vary a whole lot, too.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  7. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    Can I assume that "drives me nuts" is not rude or vulgar? Can I use the expression in a conversation with a parent (as a teacher)?


  8. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    You could safely say something like this, "This assignment is driving me nuts."

    But you would be less safe saying, "Your assignments drive me nuts."

    And far less safe saying, "You drive me nuts."

    There is nothing inherently distasteful about the phrase, "drive me nuts", it only depends upon how you use it.

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