Rubbing somebody the wrong way

Somebody rubbed that one the wrong way, pic: (c) Eric Gevaert |

This just happened to me at my son’s martial arts class.  A mother just totally rubbed me the wrong way and it took my utmost restraint not to say something politically incorrect – or rather something quite offensive.  No point in dwelling on what she did or said, let’s focus on the phrase: “to rub somebody the wrong way”:

It means to irritate, annoy somebody, to upset somebody, to bother somebody.

Generally rubbing somebody the wrong way is no major offense, it probably is something that does not bother many people at all but for one reason or another it really does upset somebody else.  Rubbing somebody the wrong way is actually likely unintentional.

Here are some examples:

Girl: “Why are you so unfriendly to McKenzie?”

Other girl: “oh, she just rubs me the wrong way.  The way she always talks about her wonderful boy-friend this, her wonderful boy-friend that, how he bought her that fancy jewelry, took her on a luxury trip.  It’s just annoying.”

The origin of this phrase is quite clear – when you rub a cat’s fur the wrong way – from tail to head – you annoy the cat – and that is never a good thing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: