‘PO'd’: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on January 27, 2023

When someone says that they’re ‘PO’d,’ what does it mean? Where does this phrase come from, and how would you use it in a sentence?

In short, ‘PO’d’ is an abbreviated form of the phrase “pissed off.” To be “pissed off” means that a person is annoyed, fed up, angry, or irritated.

What Does 'PO'd' Mean?

‘PO’d’ is an abbreviated and euphemistic form of the phrase “pissed off.” If someone says that they are ‘PO’d,’ it means that they are irritated, angry, annoyed, or fed up. You might also see this abbreviated phrase written with lowercase letters instead of capitalized letters– i.e., ‘po’d’ vs. ‘PO’d.’

This is a casual and informal slang phrase that is considered to be inappropriate and rude by some. However, how offensive this phrase has to do with the culture in which it is being used, the audience, and the intent. In the US, it isn’t a phrase that is considered appropriate to be used around children, and you would likely want to avoid using it in a work, business, or professional setting.

That being said, some people might use ‘PO’d’ to explain that they are ‘pissed off’ without actually saying these words, which are deemed offensive by some. It’s also a common way to write out ‘pissed off’ when communicating online, as it saves keystrokes and is faster to write.

Where Does 'PO'd' Come From?

The word ‘piss’ can now be used in a variety of ways, but its earliest usage was as a verb meaning “to urinate.” This usage dates back to around 1300 and comes from the Old French word for “urinate” that dates back to the 12th century– pissier.

The use of the word ‘piss’ as a noun to describe urine dates to the late 14th century, and it stems from the verb form of the word.

The word ‘pissed’ has been used as an adjective to mean “drunk” since about 1929, and the phrase ‘piss and vinegar’ to describe “energy, vim” dates back to 1942. You may have also heard the phrase ‘to piss away’ in relation to money or other resources, which started being used around 1948.

The phrase ‘pissed off’ meaning “angry” or “fed up,” is thought to date back to 1946 or perhaps 1937. It is said that this phrase was used in World War II in the military but wasn’t a part of the common language until the 1970s.

You might also hear the intransitive form of ‘piss off’ meaning “go away” occasionally, which is a chiefly British usage. The intransitive form that means to “annoy (someone)” is said to date to 1968.

It is unclear when the abbreviated and euphemistic version of ‘pissed off’ entered the common lexicon. It is considered one of the many slang terms that have emerged over the years since the internet became a part of the lives of modern people. These terms usually originated to be shorter than the original word or phrase to say keystrokes and reduce the amount of time typing.

Examples of 'PO'd' In Sentences

How would you use the term ‘PO’d’ in a sentence? Let’s look at some examples.

  • That sucks that your dad won’t let you go on the trip. I’d be seriously PO’d if my parents  tried to stop me from going on a road trip with my friends.”
  • “He always gets, so PO’d when he’s stuck in traffic. Normally he’s a very calm guy, but there’s something about being trapped on the highway that really riles him up.”
  • “I’m glad to hear that you’re happy with the outcome, but I’m personally super PO’d. They are ultimately giving us a token gift instead of the bonus we actually deserve.”
  • “Sally said that she is going to check in on your later. You seemed, so PO’d at the office that she’s wondering if there’s something going on with you that she needs to know about.”
  • “Hugo is always so ornery that I hardly even notice when he’s PO’d.”
  • “I’m not trying to stir up trouble, but I’m really starting to feel PO’d right now.”

Other Ways to Say 'PO'd'

What are other words and phrases that convey a similar message as ‘PO’d’? Here are some synonymous terms you might consider using in place of ‘PO’d’:

  • Ticked off
  • Annoyed
  • Bent out of shape
  • Browned off
  • Pissed
  • Hopping mad
  • In a tizzy
  • Infuriated
  • Irritated
  • Mad
  • Outraged
  • Peeved
  • Peeved off
  • P’d off
  • Torqued off
  • Bothered
  • Disturbed
  • Troubled
  • Angered
  • Irked

If you’re feeling ‘PO’d,’ maybe you’ll start to feel better after a wholesome session of learning more English idioms. Head over to our idioms blog, where you can learn the meanings and origins of countless phrases!


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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

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