Foaming At The Mouth


The phrase foaming at the mouth is used to describe someone who is very angry. It means to be furious.

Example: The person driving in front of me was going way too slow, so I honked at them. Afterwards, the driver came to a full stop, got out of his vehicle and started yelling at me! He was foaming at the mouth so I tried defusing the situation as best I could. He was probably having a bad day.‚Äč
Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. Having a chip on (your) shoulder
2. Having a bone to pick
3. Up in arms

The Origin Of ‘Foaming At The Mouth’

This phrase likely originates from a virus called rabies, as it can cause literal foaming at the mouth for the animal that’s infected with it. Rabies is a deadly virus that both humans and animals can catch. A bite from an infected animal, like a bat, is usually how the virus spreads. One symptom of rabies is that it makes swallowing very difficult. Consequently, saliva builds up and there is a “foaming” at the mouth.

This expression is at least over 400 years old. For instance, in 1601, William Shakespeare, a famous poet and playwright, used this common phrase in the play Julius Caesar:

“He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.”

Example Sentence

  • The guy down the street is foaming at the mouth and tossing things around in a fit of anger.

Tip: If you are finished reading about this expression, there are other phrases on here that you can check out, if you want. In fact, this site, Know Your Phrase, has hundreds of common sayings for you to explore. How do you find them? Easy! Use the search bar and type in the phrase you’re looking for, or choose a letter from the menu near the top.

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