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To become wildly or uncontrollably angry. My parents went totally ballistic when they found out I'd wrecked the car! Now, don't go ballistic or anything, but I've decided to move to Canada.
1. slang To shoot or otherwise attack one's coworkers (and/or random people) in a rage, typically after becoming disgruntled in one's workplace. The phrase originated after a series of unrelated incidents in the 1980s and 90s in which American postal workers shot coworkers or members of the public. You've got to watch out for the quiet types—they're the ones who end up going postal and shooting up the place.
2. slang By extension, to become wildly or uncontrollably angry. He wasn't happy with me and went postal when he heard what I had to say.
go ballisticand go postal
Fig. to become irrationally enraged. (Ballistic refers to a missile launching; postal refers to an enraged post office employee attacking those at his place of work. See also go into orbit.) The boss went ballistic when he saw my expense report. She was so mad, I thought she was going to go postal.
Become extremely upset or angry, as in Dad will go ballistic when he sees you dented the new car. This expression, a variation on go berserk, originally alluded to a guided missile going out of control. [Slang; mid-1980s]
If someone goes ballistic, they get extremely angry. They claim the singer went ballistic after a member of his band failed to show up for a sound check. She'll go ballistic when she finds out. Note: This expression uses the image of a ballistic missile, and the powerful explosion which it causes. Compare with go nuclear.
go postalmainly AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If someone goes postal, they become extremely angry and lose control of themselves. He went postal and punched a police officer in the face. Compare with go ballistic. Note: This expression comes from a series of shootings carried out by US postal workers.
go ballisticfly into a rage. informal
1998 New Scientist The French nuclear industry, local authorities around La Hague and some government agencies went ballistic. Viel was fiercely condemned for his findings.
go postalgo mad, especially from stress. US informal
This expression arose as a result of several recorded cases in the USA in which postal-service employees ran amok and shot colleagues.
1999 New Yorker A man two seats away ‘went postal’ when the battery on his cell phone gave out. A heavyset passenger had to sit on the man until the train finally pulled into Grand Central.
go balˈlistic(informal) become very angry: He went ballistic when I told him about the accident.A ballistic missile is a weapon that is sent through the air and that explodes when it hits the thing that it is aimed at. When it goes ballistic it starts to fall towards its target and so becomes very dangerous.
go ˈpostal(American English, informal) become extremely angry or start behaving in a violent and angry way: According to one eye witness, the man ‘went postal, and started hitting his computer’.This expression originated in the USA in the 1990s, where there were several incidents of postal workers losing control and shooting members of the public in post offices.
in. to become wild; to go berserk. He made me so mad I thought I would go postal.
To become very angry or irrational.
Slang To become extremely angry or deranged, especially in an outburst of violence.