Suppose I have gone to the movies(cinema). There is a man behind me that cracks sun-flower seeds open, talks with the next person, and also talks on his cell phone. I want to say that these behaviors are annoying when I am watching a film in the theater. If I say, "When I am in the theater, it really bugs me if somebody behind me starts cracking seeds, talking with somebody, or answering his phone,” does this convey what I mean to say?

Is "to bug" a proper usage here?

Is to crack seeds open a proper usage here?

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  • Yes. Modern synonym for irk. Also, I don't know what "cracking seeds" means unless it's literal, but I'm American. But I guess that means that if bug is an American colloquialism(?), try not to blend it with whatever cracking seeds is, if not literal. – stevesliva Jul 1 '15 at 4:49
  • I edited my question @stevesliva!, any idea now?:) – Soudabeh Jul 1 '15 at 5:04
  • Chewing popcorn... so yeah, literal. Bugs is entirely perfect to my ears. I don't know if bothers is more appropriate elsewhere. – stevesliva Jul 1 '15 at 5:13
  • not popcorn!, but seeds like the ones in the upper picture @stevesliva! :) – Soudabeh Jul 1 '15 at 5:18
  • Better than spitting them. – stevesliva Jul 1 '15 at 5:19

The verb bug fits well with your emotional reaction:

2 informal Annoy or bother (someone):

Imagine how you feel if a swarm of gnats gathers around your head, and starts crawling in your ears, eyes, nose and mouth. The bugs are bugging you in much the same way that man is bugging you with his irritating distractions while you are trying to watch the movie. You can swat the gnats with impunity, but you will need to be a little more gracious to your rude theater-mate.

Pester would be another verb to describe his behavior.


1.1 Break or cause to break open or apart:

Crack open:

[for something brittle] to break or split open.
The egg cracked open and a chick worked its way out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.

  • +1 thanks @ScotM !, What about "to crack seeds"? – Soudabeh Jul 1 '15 at 5:50
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    Both are acceptable. – ScotM Jul 1 '15 at 6:11
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    I prefer "crack" with seeds. You crack nuts, which are seeds. It's also more _ onomatopoeic_ than "split" in this case (and more "buggy", too). – Margana Jul 1 '15 at 7:23
  • thanks for your comment, dear @Margana!, yes, I agree with you.:) – Soudabeh Jul 1 '15 at 10:30
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    @Margana Agreed, crack sounds definitely louder and more annoying too, "crunching seeds", the sound you make while chewing on them, could also work – Mari-Lou A Jul 21 '15 at 6:28

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