Imagine you are going to define the limit of your patience threshold in order to define whether they are patient or impatient individuals.

In my mother language, well-educated people say exactly these translated sentences:

  • "I have a high patience threshold." OR "I have a low patience threshold."

I'm quite sure they are not natural in English. How a native speaker would indicate such a message (especially in AmE)?

  • Just saying, but AmEng and BrEng are not two separate languages, the two nations can communicate with each other! ☺ Maybe you want slang and colloquial expressions that are used in N. America, so might be an idea to add slang tag.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 12, 2017 at 11:05
  • @Mari-LouA with all due respect I disagree and can prove how these languages differ from many aspects. I can provide thousands of examples were even Britons have never herd and vice versa.
    – A-friend
    Jan 12, 2017 at 14:47
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    I didn't explain myself well. The two dialects are comprehensible, British people understand Americans and vice versa. The vast majority of terms are identical, although slang and idioms may differ greatly. There may be hundreds of terms that are different between US and the UK but they will still be understandable.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 12, 2017 at 15:20
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    It's not exactly "marked", but native speakers would rarely refer to a high patience threshold. That's just 21 written instances in the entire Google Books corpus, and my guess is they're mostly influenced by the widespread use of high pain threshold (almost 5000 written instances). Jan 12, 2017 at 15:55
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    In AmerE we would simply say, "I am not a very patient person," or "I have a lot of patience." However, the latter might be followed by a "but," as in "I am generally a patient person, but you are starting to test it." :-) Jan 12, 2017 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


The runaway favourites for high levels are the patience of a saint and the patience of Job...

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Unlike, say, memory, where we can convey both high and low levels by saying someone has the memory of an elephant or the memory of a goldfish, there's no well-established "low patience" usage involving comparison with some animal renowned for being irascible / short-tempered.

One common metaphoric usage for being at the lower end of the "patience scale" is...

To have (or be on) a short fuse - Slang. (to have) a tendency to become angry or irritable:
Synonyms: irascibility, irascibleness, spleen, temper, temperament, tetchiness.


You are highly patient.


You are quite impatient.

depending upon the case and level of (im)patience the speaker is willing to talk about.

  • Someone (not me) has down-voted your answer for two reasons at least: 1.) the OP asks how a person would describe himself; and 2.) you provide no links to documentation that would support your answer. Those reasons make this a "low-quality" answer. You can edit your answer to improve it, and then other people may up-vote it. Jan 12, 2017 at 16:44

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