Got extremely annoyed today.
But that's not the word I was looking for.

I had to deliver a case of bottled water to some friends living in another dorm in our college. I have to tell you, the sound of tight plastic rubbing against tight plastic is never a pleasant experience. In any case, I had trouble describing the moment to my fellow friends, and they in turn had no idea how to describe it.

You know, the reaction to nails on a chalkboard, or something like that.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Canis Lupus, tchrist, MetaEd, MrHen, choster Jan 11 '14 at 22:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    What about irritated? – Canis Lupus Jan 11 '14 at 11:40

Several options are available which might be of help:

  • I can't stand the sound of ....
  • I detest ... more than e.g., anything else in the world.
    A little hyperbole never hurt anyone
  • The sound of ... drives me mad/crazy/bonkers/up the wall
  • The sound of ... makes me cringe
  • That screeching sound gives me the goosebumps.
  • ... makes my flesh creep.
  • ... sets me on edge.
  • and makes my skin crawl. – bib Jan 11 '14 at 14:38
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    cringe was the word I was looking for, many thanks! – yuritsuki Jan 11 '14 at 18:44

The example you give of fingernails on chalkboard, is commonly referred to as "grating on the nerves". This has the double purpose of actually being real as well.

grate on something: to rub, scrape, or abrade something.

Some people feel an unpleasant bodily sensation with certain noises, and express this as having one's teeth set on edge.

set someone's teeth on edge: [for a scraping sound] to irritate someone's nerves. That noise sets my teeth on edge; Literally, to cause an unpleasant tingling of the teeth.

Shakespeare used this in Henry IV:

Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge...


"The sound of plastic rubbing against plastic is ___."

Some possibilities, ranked according to my preference: Agitating, obnoxious, unnerving, loathsome, irksome, sickening, distressing, disconcerting, repellent, appalling. There are plenty of synonyms that will convey displeasure, but there aren't many that are specific to an offense of the auditory senses. For example, "repugnant" works well for smells and sights, but I think it's weird to use it for sounds.

I get annoyed quite a but, so I could go on :)

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