#283: 11 Better Ways to Say Annoyed | Advanced English Vocabulary

Aug 2, 2023 | Advanced Vocabulary, Idioms & Figurative Language

Picture this: you’re having one of those days when everything seems to be going wrong. 

You woke up late. You get every red light on the way to work. The line at your favorite coffee shop is too long to wait. You’re already feeling annoyed. And then…

You’re in a meeting at work and you hear click-click. Click-click. Click-click. Someone is clicking their pen non-stop.

When you woke up late and hit every red light, you could certainly say “I’m annoyed and irritated this morning.”

But now that you hear that constant clicking, what could you say to demonstrate how annoyed you feel?

Finding the right words to express your annoyance and frustration can be quite a challenge.


As in every language, English has a wealth of idiomatic expressions to help you

  • hint at feeling annoyed
  • explicitly or directly stating your annoyance
  • warn others that they need to stop

Understanding these various expressions to convey annoyance is essential. They are often used in daily conversations.

Plus, learning alternative ways to express these feelings will help you avoid repetitiveness and enhance your language fluency.

In this Confident English lesson, you’ll get 11 different expressions, each accompanied by an explanation and practical example, to help you become a more confident English speaker.


11 Better Ways to Say Annoyed | Advanced English Vocabulary

(Number 8 is the best.)

Category #1: Hint at Annoyance

To have a bone to pick with [sb]

  • Def: to have a reason to disagree or be annoyed with someone.
  • Ex. “I’m glad we can spend time together, but I have a bone to pick with you about what was said yesterday.

To drive [sb] up the wall

  • Def: to make someone feel irritated, annoyed, and nearly angry.
  • Ex. “The noise of the lawn mower is driving me up the walls. Can you please wait ‘til this evening to cut the grass?

What’s that supposed to mean?

  • Def: a question asked to express disagreement mixed with surprise in response to something someone said.
  • Ex. For example, imagine someone made a rude comment about a promotion you received at work. You might feel surprised, annoyed, and curious enough to ask, “What’s that supposed to mean?

To test/try [one’s] patience

  • Def: to cause sb to start getting annoyed or upset because of something that is going on too long.
  • Ex. “Viktoriia is beginning to test my patience with all her last-minute changes to our travel plans.

Category #2: Be Direct

To get on [one’s] nerves

  • Def: to become extremely annoying to someone.
  • Ex. “That was an inappropriate comment and you’re really getting on my nerves now.

For crying out loud!

  • Def: used informally to emphasize a statement or question out of anger, frustration, and/or annoyance.
  • Ex. “Oh, for crying out loud! How much longer do we need to wait in this line?!

Note: An alternative to this phrase is “for heaven’s/goodness/God’s/pity’s sake!” and this can be used interchangeably. 

  • Ex. “For heaven’s sake, I’ll talk about anything else but that.”

To be sick and tired of [sth/sb]

  • Def: to be fed up, bored, and/or annoyed by sth/sb.
  • Ex. “I’m sick and tired of these delays. When is the next available flight?

To have had it (up to here) with something/someone

  • Def: to be extremely annoyed at something that someone has done on several different occasions.
  • Ex. “I’ve had it (up to here) with his constant complaining!”

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    Category #3: Warn or Ask to Stop

    Give it a rest

    • Def: to ask sb to stop talking about sth/sb because you’re getting frustrated/angry/annoyed.
    • Ex. Perhaps your sister has no idea about your financial circumstances and keeps telling you to buy a house. Eventually, you may become annoyed by the topic and say, “Alright, let’s give it a rest now. I think you’ve made your point.

    Give me a break!

    • Def: used to ask sb to stop bothering you and to express disbelief or annoyance at something they said or did.
    • Ex. Perhaps, your teenage daughter keeps bothering you after you’ve explicitly told her that you’re in a meeting. You may feel annoyed and later say, “I told you not to bother me for the next hour and you still did it. Give me a break!” 

    To get off [one’s] back

    • Def: used to tell someone to stop criticizing, telling you what to do, or how to do something.
    • Ex. For instance, imagine you’re helping a friend prepare food for their kid’s birthday party. Due to stress, they pester you to work faster and get things done sooner. At some point, you may feel annoyed and say, “Can you get off my back? I’m working as fast as I can!

    Time to Practice!

    After you review expressions to express how annoyed you feeling, share with me:

    1. Aside from the phrases in today’s lesson, what other phrases have you used to say you’re annoyed in English? 
    2. Choose a phrase from today’s lesson and share an example sentence to demonstrate how you would use it.

    You can share your answers — as well as your questions — with me in the comments below.

    ~ Annemarie

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