逆ギレ (ぎゃくぎれ, gyaku gire) is a casual Japanese word that means “to get angry in an irrational way after someone points out and criticises your fault or mistake”. Literarily, 逆ギレ means ‘reversed anger’, where ‘逆 (ぎゃく)’ means ‘opposite/reverse’ and ‘ギレ’ comes from a casual word ‘キレる’ meaning ‘become furious’. The anger is ‘reversed’ in a way that people get angry when they are the ones to be blamed. Self-conceited people who never stand corrected or apologise often do 逆ギレ, especially when someone hits the nail on the head about their fault.
This word is said to be spread by Hitoshi Matsumoto (松本人志), one of the most popular and influential Japanese comedians. Although it used to be a slang term among youths, now it is one of the casual words used among many generations.
Related Word: 半ギレ（はんぎれ）and ブチギレる
半ギレ (はんぎれ, han gire) literarily means ‘half-anger’, where 半(はん) stands for ‘半分 (はんぶん)’ meaning ‘half’. It indicates when you are more or less irritated but you haven’t gone as far as キレる (getting furious) yet.
ブチギレる (buchi gireru) is the superlative degree of キレる, meaning ‘become extremely furious/blow one’s top’. The prefix ‘ブチ’ (buchi) invokes the sound when your nerve ruptures because of your extreme anger.
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A: Why didn’t you come yesterday? You promised to come!
B: Hah? You are annoying ( ≒ Shut up)
A: Hey, don’t do 逆ギレ.
Synonyms: 開き直る (ひらきなおる): See below
Synonyms in English: unreasonable anger
Related Words and Phrases: 逆 (reverse, opposite), キレる (become furious)
- 開き直る (hiraki naoru): Admit Something Negative Fearlessly or Shamelessly
- ぐうの音も出ない (guu no nemo denai): Touché Moment When You Cannot Even Utter a Tiny Glottal Sound
- 図星 (zuboshi): ‘Hit the Nail on the Head’