Strike a raw nerve
let off steam A person who lets off steam releases surplus energy or strong feelings either through intense physical activity or by talking in an unrestrained manner.
“Let’s bring the kids to the playground so they can let off steam.”
steamed up If someone gets steamed up about something, they become very angry, excited or enthusiastic about it.
“Calm down - there’s no need to get all steamed up about it!”
in a stew When someone is in a stew about something, they are worried and agitated.
“When she was organising the wedding reception, Laura got into a stew over the seating arrangements.”
in a stitherum Someone who is (all) in a stitherum is excited, agitated or confused about something.
“The mayor’s resignation created quite a stitherum in the town.”
strike/hit a raw nerve If something you say strikes or hits a raw nerve, it upsets someone because they are very sensitive about the subject.
“You struck a raw nerve when you mentioned divorce. They’re separating.”
swallow one’s pride If you swallow your pride, you accept something humiliating or embarrassing, for example having to admit that you are wrong or that you have less knowledge that you thought.
“When Jill failed the exam, she had to swallow her pride and repeat the course.”
sweet nothings Pleasant but unimportant words that lovers say to each other are called sweet nothings. “He whispered sweet nothings in her ear as they danced.”
take a fancy (to someone) If you take a fancy to someone or something, you develop a fondness for them or begin to like them.
“I think Paul has taken a fancy to the new intern!”
take a load/weight off your mind If something takes a load (or weight) off someone’s mind, it brings great relief because a problem has been solved.
“When the company closed down, finding a new job took a load off Tom’s mind.”
tear your hair out If someone is tearing their hair out, they are extremely agitated or distressed about something.
“I’ve been tearing my hair out all morning trying to find a parking space!”
on tenterhooks A person who is on tenterhooks is in a state of anxious suspense or excitement.
“The candidates were kept on tenterhooks for hours while the panel deliberated.”