Avere un diavolo per capello

Avere un diavolo per capello in Italian

Avere un diavolo per capello
To see red, to be very angry

Literal translationTo have a devil for each hair
MeaningBeing very angry or furious
IPA pronunciation/aˈveːre un ˈdjavolo per kaˈpello/

Where does this come from? This idiom is probably a reference to The Divine Comedy by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. In his masterpiece, Dante and Virgil grasp tufts of Lucifer’s hair as they cross the Inferno. Avere un diavolo per capello reverses the roles: now it’s little devils pulling our hair. Imagine little annoying devils pulling at your hair. Wouldn’t you be furious? 😉

angry man driving a blue car

For example, you can say…

Stamattina il capo ha un diavolo per capello. Meglio stargli alla larga.
This morning the boss is furious. It is best to stay away from him.

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