One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Easily irritated; impatient and somewhat bad-tempered.
bad-tempered, grumpy, ill-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, dyspeptic, irritable, tetchy, irascible, peevish, crotchety, cantankerous, cross, fractious, disagreeable, pettish, crabbed, crabby, waspish, prickly, peppery, impatient, touchy, scratchy, volatile, crusty, liverish, splenetic, short-tempered, hot-tempered, quick-tempered, cholericView synonyms
- ‘Sure, people can get testy at times; but serious issues should be debated with passion and vigor.’
- ‘Several campers are surprisingly rude and testy when you attempt to engage them in conversation.’
- ‘During his first year in college, Ma made a futile effort to be sociable but ended up becoming more testy, frequently quarrelling with his classmates.’
- ‘He seems impatient with you, almost testy to the point of animosity.’
- ‘The minute he is questioned, he becomes testy and defensive.’
- ‘In the circumstances he might have been forgiven for being a little testy.’
- ‘From out of nowhere, your boy can snap from cool and calm to angry and testy!’
- ‘Each visit involved a long wait and at least one unpleasant interaction with a testy employee.’
- ‘My escorts exited the bus and a testy female officer instructed them to walk through a metal detector.’
- ‘But he got testy whenever reporters got close to what might have been driving the deal.’
- ‘Maybe she's testy because she's not long out of hospital with a viral condition.’
- ‘I don't blame Rosenthal for being a bit testy after my cheekiness.’
- ‘We are dealing with customers all the time and the last thing we need is our workers feeling hungry and testy.’
- ‘I get testy when people put whole books or short stories or poems up on their website, without permission, especially when they know it's wrong.’
- ‘One could see Martin getting testy, but he had no choice but to answer the questions, which were good questions.’
- ‘But, it has to be said that the younger web users can, at times, be a little impetuous and testy, too ready to either take offence, offend or flame.’
- ‘I've just figured out why I've been so testy over the last couple of days - reduced coffee intake.’
- ‘Years later, the sacking still makes the normally placid Burt uncharacteristically testy, but he doesn't dwell on it.’
- ‘She asked me to pass on her apologies for being testy in comments threads, which I'm sure are wholly unnecessary in any case.’
- ‘I want to ask you first, Ron, about polls because Roger and Karen get testy with me when I bring up polls.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘headstrong, impetuous’): from Anglo-Norman French testif, from Old French teste ‘head’, from Latin testa ‘shell’.
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