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February 20, 2003

Slang of the Week: hissy fit (noun)
an outburst of anger

When the caviar didn't arrive in her dressing room before the show, the opera star threw a hissy fit and refused to go on stage.

Celebrity quote:
"The Star just ran a story that I had a diva hissy fit in the airport when I left my $19,000 platinum phone at the hotel and sent a limo back for it. A bunch a radio stations picked it up. It's crazy when they feel it's okay to make up stuff about you."
-Beyoncé Knowles of Destiny's Child

Actually, losing a platinum phone would be a good reason to have a hissy fit, but Knowles says she doesn't have one. Generally, hissy fits are considered childish and are therefore reserved for divas and children.

We rarely use the expression about men, because it comes from the word hysteria (a psychological illness), which comes from hustera, the Latin word for womb. Back in the day, it was believed that women had mental problems because of their wombs, whereas we now know that most of women's problems come from spending too much time around men.

A couple of nice synonyms for hissy fit are conniption fit (a favorite of my mother's) and snit fit. All three of these terms can be used without fit.

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What's new at Slang City?
What are candy lips? Why was Candy was everybody's darling? This week in MUSIC we offer translations of two very different requested songs: Your Body is a Wonderland, by John Mayer, and Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed's tribute to transvestite actresses in the 1960s.