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I am looking for a term meaning the use of an angry tone of voice without the raising or lowering of one's volume. Something like yell, but without the implication of raising one's voice.

I'm hoping for something general. Words like snarl and snap don't work in all contexts, so I'm looking for something better.

I'm looking for something that might fill this sentence: "You're XXX again, Dave." as a speaker is counseling a person with anger management issues.

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closed as not constructive by Jeff Atwood Dec 30 '11 at 11:31

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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@RobertCartaino: it seems out of the spirit of the whole SE thing for a moderator like yourself, without a vested -content specific- interest, to be autocratically closing questions. I think the 5 vote rule handles these situations just fine. –  Mitch Dec 21 '11 at 18:42
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Also @RobertCartaino, disregarding the unilateral-closing-by-an-outsider issue, this question clearly shows effort, and specifies exactly what context he wants to use the word in. In other words, isn't this precisely the sort of single-word-request we want to encourage? –  Marthaª Dec 21 '11 at 21:22
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I very strongly disagree with this question being, once again, unilaterally closed by an outsider. @JeffAtwood: exactly what is so earth-shatteringly wrong about an answer that is a (gasp, horrors) list of words? –  Marthaª Dec 30 '11 at 14:34
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@JeffAtwood, if you don't think any of the answers are good, write a better one. If you can't, at least leave the question open so that someone else can write a better answer. I think the criteria here are very clear; the reason the answers aren't better is that it's a hard question. Is StackExchange only for the easy-to-answer fluff questions? –  Marthaª Dec 30 '11 at 17:23
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@mar there's no objective reality here; we are guessing as to whatever the op feels is "best" which is why the accepted answer is ... a list of guesses. Adding more guesses isn't improving the Internet for anyone. In fact the accepted answer is basically a thesaurus entry... That is not what we want English.se to be. –  Jeff Atwood Dec 30 '11 at 17:36

6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Tone-of-voice words include irate, cross, indignant, nettled, riled, heated, incensed, biting, resentful, provoked, imprecation. Examples: "'You're late!', she said hotly" and "'Come here,' he said crossly."

Looking specifically at verbs we have fume, rave, grumble, chide, rebuke, chafe, fret, remonstrate, recriminate, decry. Examples: "'What have you done now?", she raved", "'There's none for me,' he grumbled" and "'I'm so lame", she fumed." Also see list of 214 words some believe can be used in place of said.

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I'm going through them. I like decry but it's not exactly the meaning I'm looking for. fume too. I'm looking for something that might fill this sentence: "You're XXX again, Dave." as a speaker is counseling a person with anger management issues. I think incensed is the closest to the emotional state I'm going for with the word. Thanks! –  Draco Ro'Tor Dec 18 '11 at 5:27
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@DracoRo'Tor - Maybe try "You're overheating again, Dave", or "getting riled up", or "getting wrought-up" (agitated). –  jwpat7 Dec 18 '11 at 7:05
    
Although they closed it on me, this was the post I would have gone with as my answer, since your remonstrate led me to Vilipend and exectrate on a thesaurus website. Between the three, I think I'm as close as I can get to my goal. –  Draco Ro'Tor Dec 19 '11 at 18:18

I'd be inclined to say 'Don't look at me in that tone of voice.'

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I've never been looked at in a tone of voice before. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 16:46
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@Mahnax Oh, I'm sure you have, but didn't realise. –  slim Dec 19 '11 at 16:03

Growl, hiss, and the like, as in:

"You had better not do that," he growled.

"Shut up," she hissed.

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I thought of those, but most have a volume component. For example, a hiss is generally quieter, coming through gritted teeth or under one's breath. I want something where someone can <angry voice> at someone else, without the context of a particular onomatopoeia-esque sound, like snapping at someone or growling at someone. Thanks for the ideas, though –  Draco Ro'Tor Dec 18 '11 at 0:45
    
Notice both evoke animal imagery. Dogs growl, snakes (and I suppose cats) hiss. Interesting. –  Dan Ray Dec 19 '11 at 16:02

I can't think of a single word but the phrase "His voice was seething with anger" comes to mind - but perhaps the term "seething" is too intense for your liking. Also, it has to be used in a descriptive way to make clear that it refers to one's voice.

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intensity is fine. like I said to Pete, it's mainly that all the angry words seem to apply better to rope (snap), animals (growl, hiss, bark, yap), pots (seethe, fume), etc. Also, I don't mind if I come off a little sesquipedal by using the word. –  Draco Ro'Tor Dec 18 '11 at 0:50

To rant is "to speak in an angry or violent manner" -- not necessarily with volume.

(It's actually more chilling that way.)

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I too thought of rant but felt that "violent" implies loudness, as do some of the other defining terms in the page you linked: uproarious, boisterous, "speak or shout at length", "talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner", "loud bombastic declamation". Rave may have some of the same problems. –  jwpat7 Dec 18 '11 at 7:15
    
@jwpat7 Yeah, I was surprised that rant wasn't on your rather comprehensive list. I'm not sure that there's a word for "ranting at low volume." –  Gnawme Dec 18 '11 at 7:28

How about this: You are short fused again, Dave.

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