Can the expression "toys out of the pram" be applicable for describing that someone is having a bad day?

  • 1
    Never heard it, but I like it! It would probably only work among British English speakers, though - in AmEng we call them "strollers", and "pram" is not very widely understood (except in circles where hiring an English nanny is the Done Thing, and in that case the nanny brought the word with her.)
    – MT_Head
    Jun 25 '11 at 17:59
  • Ohh . . . I thought you meant one of these. Jun 25 '11 at 19:19

No, "throwing toys out of the pram" is used for a person who is behaving irrationally (in anger or frustration). Here the person is being compared to a baby who keeps throwing the toys out and the implication is that the person is being irrational.

For your question, to describe a person who is having a bad day, some say "Got up on the wrong side of the bed".

People also tend to say that they are "having a bad hair day", if they are not having a good day. I have heard some say "My computer is having a bad hair day", when it continuously hangs on them.


I found the following at The Phrase Finder in response to a question about the phrase throw the dolly out of the pram:

In my experience "threw their toys out of the pram" is more common. It means they responded to frustration with an irrational and seemingly dispropotionate outburst; like a baby repeatedly throwing away everything it can get its hands on. A less common variation is "spat out their dummy."

In other words, a temper tantrum.

  • The dummy spitting example is particularly popular in Australia.
    – pavium
    Jun 26 '11 at 0:18

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