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emotional behaviour


histrionics = theatralisches Getue, die Schauspielerei —— to indulge in histrionics = sich theatralisch aufführen —— to cut out the histrionics = die Schauspielereien weglassen



“Pitch-invading football fans are simply copying players’ on-field HISTRIONICS. Graham Downie says that if fans resort to irresponsible behaviour they are doing little more than following the lead provided by their idols.

Guardian Headline (24 May 2022)

Did you

plural noun

- very emotional and energetic behaviour that lacks sincerity and real meaning

- the deliberate display of emotion for effect

The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary / Merriam-Webster


“Histrionic” meaning “theatrical” (figuratively, “hypocritical”), is from the 1640s, from French histrionique “pertaining to an actor,” from stem of Latin histrio “actor”, a word said to be of Etruscan origin.


In 1994, avid readers were surprised to find a new novel (“Swan”) from the pen of belligerent supermodel Naomi Campbell on bookstore shelves. It was soon revealed that Naomi had had some help in the writing department. A lot of help. In fact, Naomi hadn’t written a single word. The book (about a supermodel being blackmailed) was ghostwritten by Caroline Upcher. Naomi’s explanation? “I just did not have time to sit down and write a book.”

Prettyandstupid dot com further commented: “Not everyone has time on their hands the way Jane Bloody Austen did! If you want to write a book, you hire someone to write it for you and take all the credit. And when you want to have histrionics that the book didn’t sell well, you can always keep stacks of said unsold books all over the house for handy bitch-to-assistant projectiles.”


Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking behaviors, usually beginning in early childhood, including inappropriate seduction and an excessive desire for approval.

People diagnosed with the disorder are said to be lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, extroverted and flirtatious.

Arguably the best cinematographic example of HPD is Scarlett O’Hara (played by Vivien Leigh) in “Gone With The Wind”.


- a public display of emotion or anger:

apoplexy, bad humor (mood, temper), blind rage, brouhaha, carry-on, contretemps, dander, drama, fit of anger (bad humour, bad temper, fury, pique, rage, temper, sulks), flare-up, frothing, fuming, furore, hissie fit, HISTRIONICS, hue and cry, huff, hump, hysterics, ill-temper (humour), miff, outburst (of anger), paddywhack, paroxysm (of anger, of rage), paroxysms, scene, song and dance, tantrum(s), temper (tantrum), tizzy, to-do, towering rage, wingding, wobbler, wobbly

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Don’t pay attention to his HISTRIONICS. He always puts on a big show whenever the network goes down.”

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Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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