"It gets me mad"

From Obama’s speech today on gun control. This has nothing to do with gun control, but with speech. “It gets me mad”? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that construct before.

It makes me mad.

I get angry when…

But “it gets me mad”?

Any idea where this comes from? Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention…?

Googling it shows 144,000 hits, almost all of them about the speech. Searching with “gets me mad” -Obama shows only 41,500 hits, which is pretty small.

In contrast an expression “makes me mad” shows 680,000 hits.

I do seem to recall hearing it, perhaps by my rural Utah cousins.

While “makes me mad” is more typical, the construction doesn’t seem at all odd to me.

It sounds, perhaps, antiquated. Almost Shakespearean. I’m guessing that Obama chose that phrasing on purpose. I’m wondering if this comes from some earlier source, and is meant to allude to some literary reference.

Some people who own guns “don’t get mad they get even” the rest of us get so frustrated we feel angry it “makes me mad”. Everybody I know uses this saying.

I don’t find it odd at all. I’ve grown up hearing it.

Searching Google N-gram viewer shows that the phrase “gets me mad” has been in use certainly since 1900, and its use has been increasing:


Ngram Viewer shows that “makes me mad” is about 20 times as widely used as “gets me mad” in American usage.


It’s kind of like “bury” or “aunt” or “pop/soda”-- if you didn’t grow up in somebody’s neighborhood, you are going to hear expressions or pronunciations that you might not consider “standard” in your home town.

I’ve heard it all my life.

It goes along with such other common uses as “I just get so mad” and “don’t get me mad”. (Common to me at least).

Well generally, in psychology or therapy or communication theory (made up that term), if you say “you made me mad” is considered to be a way of avoiding responsibility, as if the person is not responsible for managing their own emotions. “I got mad when you cussed at me” or, “I got mad when you hung up the phone and did not say goodnight” puts the focus of the anger on the person who got mad, - I - got mad instead of - you made - me mad.

I suppose “it got me mad” could be some version of this, it being the same category as you made me mad. But, without hearing the speech I wouldn’t know.

Was Obama saying gun owners got him mad or gun deaths got him mad?

I think it was deaths. But it seems that “it gets me mad” is standard English at least in some parts of the country. I just couldn’t imagine myself saying it, as it sounds a little off to me. I was wondering if there was some extra meaning or maybe some literary allusion that was included in that phrase, but apparently not. Or maybe the intention was to use a very informal phrasing to make it resonate emotionally with the audience. I’ve certainly done that myself at times.

[Shawn from Psych] I’ve heard it both ways. [/Shawn from Psych]

Preferably said in Droopy’s voice.

I’ve heard it said that way all my life too. ‘Get’ and ‘make’, while not synonyms are related to each other in that context. If you wanted to be pedantic about it you could say that ‘to make’ means to manufacture something while ‘to get’ means to go to a store and buy it.

But in terms of emotions, they are synonymous. ‘Gets me mad’ equals ‘Makes me mad’. Again, if you want to break it down, ‘Makes me mad’ means that something causes anger to be created and well up inside of you, whereas ‘Gets me mad’ means something causes you to achieve the state of anger.

Clearly TOTUS was not present.

Sadly, Droopy said: “You know what? That makes me mad”. :frowning:

It may not have been what he intended to say. Keep in mind that this statement was the first thing he said after getting a bit choked up talking about Sandy Hook. He may have meant to say one of the more conventional phases in the OP and the wrong thing came out. Or the speech read one way and he was thinking the other and they got intertwined when he spoke.

I usually hear it as “I get mad” and “This thing makes me mad”. So Obama’s wording is slightly off from what I would expect, but I’d chalk it up to mixing idioms during a live speech. Either that, or that’s how he normally talks, which sounds slightly odd to my ears, but certainly not grating or nonsensical.