Understanding the hangry among us!

November 26, 2014


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Hangry – (adjective) Definition:  Anger that is displayed because someone is hungry.
Example:  “Don’t talk to your brother before dinner because he’s hangry.”

OK – that’s not a real word.  Someone made it up for some online “make a new word” competition.  When we heard it a few years ago, we quickly incorporated it into our vocabulary, using it weekly.

You can see Hangry in many of these moments:

  • During an 11:00 a.m. meeting where you think every idea is garbage
  • Returning emails during the late afternoon and all of them are irritaing
  • On your commute home when every car is in your way and every driver is a clueless idiot
  • At a restaurant where the server is slow to bring bread or the cashier walks away from the register right before it is your turn to order

The list goes on.

As it turns out, there’s a hangry gene that runs in our the family. (And by “our,” I mean “mine.”)

I know this because my mother scolded me regularly for asking my dad important questions while he was walking to the dinner table.  Whatever I asked in that on-the-way-to-the-dinner-table stroll always was greeted with, at best, a bark and a “NO!”  

My response was to sulk or to argue or to fight back.  It pretty much killed my attitude during dinner.

I remember receiving a particularly strident rebuff, and my mom just sighed that “I give up” sigh and said,

“Joy, will  you EVER learn to ask your dad questions AFTER he’s eaten?” 

Billy and I recognize this condition in our children, particularly our daughter.

There is a direct correlation between her ability to keep her attitude in check and the amount of food in her stomach.  She never seems to eat a lot of food, but boy does she need it regularly!  A dip in the ol’ blood sugar level is just begging for hangry behavior. She is flat-out mad with anyone or anything that comes across her path.  Once she gets a bite to eat or a snack, she’s back to her cheery self again.  That is why we call that little snack a “happy-tizer.”

Fortunately, everyone seems to recognize hangry symptoms and makes food a priority for finding peace.  I found this note written by my daughter to her little brother.  Little brother seems to have brought a post-argument peace offering (aka, a snack).  It pretty much says it all.

I’d love to say more, but I just realized that I haven’t had breakfast and I’m getting wildly frustrated with my computer.  Hmmm.


3 Responses to “Understanding the hangry among us!”

  1. Lisa Says:

    My mom use to tell my brother he wasn’t allowed to look or speak to anymore before he had a bowl of cereal or toast. For a long time we just thought he was grumpy intentionally in the mornings. Come to find out this 6’8 brother of mine had low low blood sugar in the AM’s and a fast metabolism where he needs to eat all the time. I know all about being “hangry.” Sentence for the day: He was writhing in hanger.


  2. Mark Allman Says:

    My wife enjoys calling me and my son out on this and she refers to it as us “fig treeing”. I think she made that up as far as I know. Of course it is in reference to Jesus going bad on the fig tree when he was hungry for a fig and the tree did not oblige.


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