Learn 20 Expressions Related to Hostility

Hostility often creeps into our conversations and relationships, sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly. Recognizing the language of hostility can help us understand the underlying tensions and perhaps address them more effectively. This blog post delves into 20 expressions and idioms that convey hostility, offering concise explanations and examples for each. Whether it’s in literature, daily conversations, or heated debates, understanding these phrases can provide insights into the dynamics of conflict and aggression.

Expressions Related to Hostility

1. At each other’s throats

Meaning: Fighting or arguing intensely.

Example: The siblings were at each other’s throats over the inheritance.

2. Cross swords

Meaning: To have a disagreement or argument.

Example: They crossed swords during the meeting.

3. Burn bridges

Meaning: Destroy relationships recklessly.

Example: He burned bridges with his harsh words.

4. Add fuel to the fire

Meaning: Worsen an already bad situation.

Example: His sarcastic comment just added fuel to the fire.

5. Have a bone to pick

Meaning: Have a grievance that needs to be discussed.

Example: She has a bone to pick with you about yesterday.

6. Rub someone the wrong way

Meaning: Irritate or annoy someone.

Example: His arrogance rubs me the wrong way.

7. Kick up a fuss

Meaning: Make a big, angry complaint about something.

Example: He kicked up a fuss over the bill.

8. Stir the pot

Meaning: Provoke or instigate trouble.

Example: He likes to stir the pot during discussions.

9. Throw daggers

Meaning: Look at someone angrily.

Example: She threw daggers at him across the room.

10. Draw the line

Meaning: Set a limit, especially to prevent unacceptable behavior.

Example: She drew the line at lying.

11. Ruffle feathers

Meaning: Upset or offend people.

Example: His comments ruffled feathers.

12. Barking up the wrong tree

Meaning: Accuse the wrong person or pursue a false lead.

Example: He’s barking up the wrong tree with his accusations.

13. Cut to the quick

Meaning: Deeply hurt someone’s feelings.

Example: Her remarks cut him to the quick.

14. Throw someone under the bus

Meaning: Betray someone to save oneself.

Example: He threw his colleague under the bus to save his job.

15. A thorn in one’s side

Meaning: A constant source of annoyance.

Example: His neighbor has been a thorn in his side.

16. Not see eye to eye

Meaning: To disagree.

Example: They do not see eye to eye on this issue.

17. Go for the jugular

Meaning: Attack in a ruthless or decisive manner.

Example: In the debate, she went for the jugular.

18. Give someone the cold shoulder

Meaning: Ignore or treat someone with disdain.

Example: He gave her the cold shoulder at the party.

19. Bite someone’s head off

Meaning: Respond angrily to someone.

Example: She bit his head off for being late.

20. Take no prisoners

Meaning: Show no mercy or consideration.

Example: In negotiations, he takes no prisoners.

Expressions Related to Hostility