What's eating (someone)?

(redirected from what's eating them)

What's eating (someone)?

What's bothering someone? Why is someone in a bad mood? What's eating Terry today? I asked him how his weekend was and he just glared at me. I've never seen her act that way before. What's eating her?
See also: eating
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

What's eating someone?

Inf. Fig. What is bothering someone? Tom: Go away! Bob: Gee, Tom, what's eating you? Bill: Tom's so grouchy lately. What's eating him? Bob: Beats me!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

what's eating you

Also, what's bugging you. What is annoying or bothering you? For example, We've conceded just about every point, so what's eating you now? or You're in a terrible mood-what's bugging you? The first slangy term, dating from the late 1800s, presumably uses eat in the sense of "consume"; the colloquial variant, from about 1940, uses bug in the sense of "annoy." Also see what's with.
See also: eating
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.

what's eating someone

People ask what's eating someone, when they want to know why that person seems to be unhappy or angry. `What the hell's eating you?' he demanded.
See also: eating, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

what's eating you (or him or her)?

what is worrying or annoying you (or him or her)? informal
See also: eating
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

what’s ˈeating somebody?

(spoken) used to ask why somebody is worried, unhappy, etc: You seem a bit quiet today. What’s eating you?
See also: eating
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

What’s eating someone?

interrog. What is bothering someone? What’s eating Fred? He’s in a rotten humor.
See also: eating
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
"They have to live with what they have done, that is what's eating them up inside and will continue to do so," he said.
WHAT'S EATING THEM?: Winter pansies could be being eaten by molluscs at night which can destroy young plants very quickly, causing them to collapse and die in a matter of weeks