he has a short fuse

he gets quickly angry


he has a short fuse = Er kocht schnell über, Bei ihm brennt leicht die Sicherung durch. --- GOOGLE INDEX a short fuse: approximately 340,000 Google hits



People should stop trying to justify Zidane's actions. He is a great player but he has A SHORT FUSE - he's been sent off loads of times. It doesn't really matter what Materazzi said; nothing justifies Zidane's headbutt.

BBC World Cup Blog

Did you

In the field of electronics, a fuse is a protective device containing a wire that melts and breaks the circuit when the current exceeds a certain value in order to safeguard electric circuits. The word itself is from the mid 17th century, not long before inventors such as Benjamin Franklin began to dabble in the world of electricity.

The original meaning of fuse referred to a "combustible cord or tube for lighting an explosive device" (Online Etymology Dictionary), as opposed to something that protects.
It stems from the Italian fuso, which means "spindle", a rod or pin, tapered at one end and usually weighted at the other, on which fibres are spun by hand into thread and then wound. It's also related to the French fusée, which is a "spindleful of hemp fibre."

The sense of fuse as something that interrupts an electrical circuit was first recorded around 1884. Although it was so named because of the resemblance to a spindleful of fibre, it was mistakenly attributed to the verb "fuse" because of the way it melts.

The expression "a short fuse" or "to have a short fuse" is used to describe someone who can be easily angered by something, thus quickly exploding like a real electronics fuse, but in a figurative sense. You could also view it in reference to a device with a very short detonator fuse that doesn't take long to explode once it is lit.


anger, cantankerousness, crossness, grouchiness, hotheadedness, irascibility, irritability, low boiling point, peevishness, petulance, quick temper, short temper, touchiness

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"People with a short fuse need to be treated diplomatically."

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