I am writing a book and currently have a scene where there are two people – one is sitting on the ground, and one is laying on a mattress next to them before pushing himself up to respond to the other's question.

For clarification, when I say "pushed himself up", I mean he just sat up. How would I describe this in a way that would make him seem angry/annoyed?

  • 2
    When used to describe actions between people, "shoved" is often used in sense to mean "aggressively pushed".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 2:51
  • By "pushing himself up," do you just mean that he sat up? Or stood up?
    – alphabet
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 2:56
  • Yes, he just sat up, sorry for the confusion! Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 3:22
  • 2
    Lying on a mattress! Possibly "He jerked up into a sitting position"? Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 7:40
  • 1
    You could use an adverb to qualify how he sat up. Even a neutral word, followed by another action. "He sat up quickly and glared at her". Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 16:06

3 Answers 3


One possibility might be snap, in the sense of

to move briskly or sharply

I think this provides the desired negative connotation because it plays on another definition of the word "snap":

to utter sharp biting words : bark out irritable or peevish retorts.

  • 1
    Hello, qoheleth. Welcome to ELU. Though 'snap' (in the 'jerk' context) suggests briskness and a cracking noise before testiness to me, I like your ' the desired ... connotation because it plays on another definition of the word W'. Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 10:43

From the full OED...

2a intransitive verb
To move with a bound or sudden impulse from a position of rest or repose
Most recent citation:
2002 S. Waters Fingersmith xvi. 620
My voice made a dozen black birds start out of the bushes and fly off, cawing.


This doesn't specifically relate to anger, but you could say that he bolted upright. TFD defines this as:

To suddenly sit or stand up from a reclining position.

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