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Are there any differences between mad and angry and when should you use one instead of the other?

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closed as general reference by JSBձոգչ, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Robusto, Will Hunting, aedia λ Jan 24 '12 at 16:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Try a good dictionary - for example, Wiktionary has great entries for mad and angry that cover their similarities and address other meanings of mad, such as the American English use in mad skills or mad good answer. –  aedia λ Jan 24 '12 at 16:25

1 Answer 1

I think this may be closed for general reference, but they are synonyms mainly in American English, with mad being more colloquial than angry. I would never use mad in formal writing. In British English, mad exclusively means "insane" or "crazy," so it is not interchangeable with angry.

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... except that American English is a strong influence on British English, so stock phrases like "Don't get mad, get even" are widely used and understood by Britons. –  slim Jan 24 '12 at 16:16
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Spot on. There's also in the U.S. a penchant for use of the word mad to connote of simply zany or off the wall, that is, as humorous. For a long time there was a comic book titled simply MAD which was centrally defined by the antics of the perpetually youthful Alfred E. Newman. Then more recently we see the advent of Mad TV, always a series of skits intended to make light of some aspect of human nature, draw to the forefront some manner of social absurdity, etc., ever as cheeky as Benny Hill. –  Tom Raywood Jan 24 '12 at 16:22

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