Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This is an excerpt from the LDOCE.

freak out
phrasal verb   informal 
to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, or afraid :  
People just freaked out when they heard the news. 
freak somebody out 
The whole idea freaked me out. 

I'm curious whether freak out has the meaning of "make somebody angry".

share|improve this question
    
What is the source of "make somebody angry"? –  Kris Nov 1 '13 at 5:08
    
The answer to whether freak out has the meaning of "make somebody angry is No. –  Kris Nov 1 '13 at 5:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

To "freak somebody out" is to startle or upset or scare them. They can get angry as a consequence, but that is not the direct meaning.

You really freaked me out when you told me the tests showed you had cancer. I'm glad it turned out to be a false positive.

You really freaked me out when you lied to me about the test showing I had cancer. Did you think that was funny, you jerk?

Both first sentences use "freaked out" to express consternation. But the consequences are different in each.

share|improve this answer

The confusion can come by the fact that upset could be synonym with angry in some case. But in this context, upset takes the meaning of distressed.

Freaking out is more expressing some kind of irrational fear or distress, to the point of not acting like one usually do.

share|improve this answer

to "freak someone out" does not directly imply that you make someone angry. This idiom usually means to scare them, cause them to be frightened, stressed, or anxious. There is an explanation here: http://www.theenglishstudent.com/1/post/2013/10/scared-try-using-these-three-idioms.html

share|improve this answer
    
Check your capitalization along with punctuation, spellings and all other such things before posting an answer. Remember this is an English language site for advanced users. –  Kris Nov 1 '13 at 5:07

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.