Piss and a lot of derived expressions (piss about/around, piss down) are all marked as British English. Piss off is however not labelled as such.

Is piss off used in American English? How does it differ from the BrE usage?

  • 2
    You say that "piss off" is not labelled as BrE. But in fact, the dictionary you cite reads "British sometimes vulgar : to leave immediately : SCRAM —usually used as a command". In AmE piss off means to cause someone to get angry or irritated.
    – TimR
    Nov 22, 2016 at 12:34
  • 1
    As an AmE speaker, I associate "piss off" very strongly with BrE. In AmE I hear "fuck off" (vulgar) or "get lost" (not vulgar) far more often than "piss off". It could be regional though.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 22, 2016 at 12:54
  • Not directly answering your question, but this ELU page does actually touch on it and is an interesting read.
    – Gamora
    Jun 18, 2019 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


I can't speak for American usage. But in British usage, people say "To piss somebody off" = "to annoy them".

In the passive, "pissed off" means angry. [I have heard Americans use "pissed" in this way. This is now recognised here because of American films and TV, but when I was younger, that only meant "drunk".]

"Piss off" as a intransitive phrase (usually as a vulgar command) is quite different - it may indicate that the speaker is angry, but it doesn't mean "annoy somebody".


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .