mad as a hornet
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(as) mad as a hornet
Enraged; extremely or inconsolably angry. My dad was mad as a hornet after I crashed his car. You make me as mad as a hornet with the way you carry on sometimes, you know that?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*mad as a hornetand *mad as a wet hen; *mad as hell
very angry. (*Also: as ~. Use hell with caution.) You make me so angry. I'm as mad as a hornet. What you said made Mary mad as a wet hen. Those terrorists make me mad as hell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
mad as a hornet
Also, mad as hell or hops or a wet hen . Very angry, enraged as in Mary was mad as a hornet when her purse was stolen, or Upset? Dan was mad as hell, or The teacher was mad as a wet hen. The use of mad for "angry" dates from about 1300, but these similes are of much more recent vintage (1800s, early 1900s). The allusions to a hornet, which can launch a fierce attack, and hell, with its furious fires, are more obvious than the other variants. Mad as hops was first recorded in 1884 and is thought to have been the writer's version of hopping mad; mad as a wet hen, first recorded in 1823, is puzzling, since hens don't really mind water.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
mad as a hornetmainly AMERICAN
If you are as mad as a hornet, you are extremely angry. I'll bet he's as mad as a hornet about this whole affair. Note: A hornet is a large wasp.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012