Modern Ways To Express Anger And Frustration

fed up with old, angry phrases?

Ever felt up in arms? Or have you seen red? Maybe you were so upset once you almost blew a fuse or a gasket! Don’t go blowing your top!

Anger and annoyance are normal emotions, although sometimes ( … a lot of times) we let them get the better of us. Everyone inevitably experiences these intense emotions, which is why there are so many idioms and words just to express feeling vexed.

Before you bite someone’s head off, here are some more modern ways to say you’re angry or show that you’re really upset. So take a deep breath and read about these new expressions of frustration.


This popular slang word from the 2010s might sound tasty, but it’s anything but. Being salty is feeling angry, bitter, or downright peeved over something small. You might be so upset you’ll act a little passive aggressive too.

Salty is also used to describe someone who is upset or jealous (e.g., “He’s just salty I got the promotion and he didn’t”). It’s a versatile slang word for every level of frustration, no matter how petty.

left on read

Ah, left on read has probably ruined many a relationship in the modern era …  at least since 2016 when this phrase emerged. It feels terrible, but it gets a certain point across. If someone leaves you on read, they’re ignoring you by looking at your message, but not responding.

You could be left on read because someone is so upset with you they have no desire to talk. You might see it as passive aggressive, but they could also just be waiting to calm down before hitting the send button.

There’s no harm in sending a follow-up message; it’s better to talk it out than stay angry!

WATCH: Why Is The Word "Read" In Read Receipts So Terrifying?

upside-down face emoji 🙃

Should you get left on read, sending this emoji might not be the best course of action. The upside down face emoji 🙃 has many meanings that can be hard to decipher. But with enough context clues, you’ll be able to piece together what someone means if you receive this in a text.

Since its inclusion in Unicode 8.0 in 2015, the upside down face emoji conveys a sense of frustration, or a depleted willpower to deal with said frustration.

Here’s an example of how to use this when someone is giving you the runaround and you’ve had it up to the proverbial “here”: “It’d be nice if you made plans to see me sometime in the next 10 years lol 🙃.”


The subtweet … or the pinnacle of passive aggression. If you’re a Twitter user, the social media site where you express yourself in 280 characters or less, you’ve seen a subtweet, or a veiled comment about someone, because the term’s been around on the site since 2009. The subtweet doesn’t name exactly who it is.

Not everyone thinks subtweeting is an acceptable practice, so keep that in mind before you publish that tweet. But if you really need to make that underhanded comment about someone who upset you, try to keep it witty. Maybe use a meme or two.

A similar practice migrated to Facebook, also circa 2009. Vaguebooking is making a vague, angry post about someone on your friends list.


This moves into the aggressive aggressive territory instead of the passive one. If you see a subtweet, you may choose to snitch-tag the person it’s about, or include their Twitter handle in a reply to ensure they see it. Absolutely devious!

No one likes a snitch-tagger. They’re probably disliked more than people who subtweet! By snitch-tagging, you’re opening up an unwanted conversation between the subject of the subtweet and the person who tweeted it. Maybe it’s for their own good?

Snitch-tagging has been around since 2014. The old adage of “snitches get stitches” applies online too!

aggy | aggro

In the early 2000s, aggy became a slang term, likely popularized through hip-hop, as a short form for aggravated/aggravating (or agitated). It means “annoyed” or “annoying.”

Another alternative is aggro, which is more popular in the gaming community.

You can use aggy to describe a situation that makes you upset (e.g., “ugh my job makes me so aggy at peak hours”) or someone who is getting a bit too hotheaded for comfort (e.g. “omg she’s being so aggy right now, better steer clear”).

Likewise, aggy can be used as an adjective in another way (e.g., “people disrespecting me is so aggy“). Aggy is great in situations where you’re definitely frustrated and ticked off, but not ready to act out of turn due to anger.

angry face with horns emoji

Sending a string of these 👿👿👿👿 will get your feelings across. The angry face with horns emoji 👿 is a bit more playful than most of the above modern expressions of anger, but still is enough to show major displeasure.

This emoji and its smiling counterpart were added in 2015. Useful in many situations, you’ll see this used when a favorite team loses a sporting game or to comment on mild inconveniences. It’s usually placed at the end of a sentence: “gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t win that award!! 👿”

This is one to use if you’re feeling a bit sinister!

I can't even

While I can’t even is used to describe many an overwhelming emotion, it is especially used to describe something so frustrating, aggravating, or irritating that you just … can’t even deal with it!

I can’t even has been used on the internet since at least 2010 (Even though Bob Dylan may have been one of the first to use it in 1966—watch more about that below!), making it a well-established phrase for the angry. Although memes have been made out of it, I can’t even conveys a certain type of speechlessness that should be reserved for the most maddening of times.

Lost your car keys when you’re trying to rush out the door in the morning? Throw in a I can’t even while trying to solve the problem. Crush left you on read? Can you even with them? No reservations at your favorite restaurant at the end of a frustrating day? Ugh! I can’t even anymore with today!

WATCH: You'll Never Guess When These Words Were Born


We’ve probably all had this feeling at work—or have actually done it! Headdesk is the act of lowering your forehead to your desk in resignation, frustration, or debilitating anger.

People have been headdesking since 2002 when it started to appear on Usenet. Then it was logged on Urban Dictionary in 2003. There are plenty of media and real-life representations of the headdesk, from anime to sitcoms to your coworker who keeps getting chewed out by the boss.

While it paints the picture of a workplace environment, headdesk is an all-purpose expression of being irked. Adding asterisks (*headdesk*) implies someone’s actually performing a headdesk. Ouch!

face with steam from nose emoji 😤

The face with steam from nose emoji 😤 is peak annoyance … at least since 2010 when it was added to Unicode. While still playful, it shows that you’re huffing and puffing about something. The steam is actually coming out of the emoji’s nose, by the way, not its head.

While this is sometimes used for pride, its primary function as an emoji is to express the feeling of boiling over with anger: “I can’t take any more of this cold weather!! 😤😤”

If your emoji usage is more sophisticated, you can combine two meanings of this emoji to make yourself seem like a force to be reckoned with. Did you get so angry you crushed your workout at the gym? Throw in this emoji!

Click to read more
Word of the Day

Can you guess the definition?


[ beek ]

Can you guess the definition?

Word of the day

[ beek ]