tear (one's) hair(redirected from they tear their hair)
tear (one's) hair
To be extremely anxious, worried, frustrated, or stressed out about something. We've been tearing our hair trying to figure out what's causing the server outages. The kids have been out of control all morning long—they've got me tearing my hair!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tear one's hair (out)
Fig. to be anxious, frustrated, or angry. I was so nervous, I was about to tear my hair. I had better get home. My parents will be tearing their hair out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
tear one's hair
Also, tear out one's hair. Be greatly upset or distressed, as in I'm tearing my hair over these errors. This expression alludes to literally tearing out one's hair in a frenzy of grief or anger, a usage dating from a.d. 1000. Today it is generally hyperbolic.
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.
tear your ˈhair (out)(informal) be very worried or angry: Why are you so late home? Your mother and I have been tearing our hair out wondering where you were!
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
tear (one's) hair
To be greatly upset or distressed.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
tear one's hair, to
To show extreme anger, frustration, or grief. In ancient times it was customary to show grief by literally pulling at one’s hair. The practice was referred to by Homer in the Iliad, with reference to Agamemnon, and appears in other ancient writings. Shakespeare used it in Troilus and Cressida (4.2), “Tear my bright hair, and scratch my praised cheeks,” and Thackeray in The Rose and the Ring (1855), “Tearing her hair, crying and bemoaning herself.” Today we are more apt to use it for anger or vexation, and entirely figuratively.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer