• Feel restless or anxious
      Expressing a state of agitation or unease, often due to boredom or frustration with a current situation or task. Similar to feeling "stir crazy."

    • React with exaggerated emotion
      Describing a reaction that is overly dramatic or exaggerated, often in a negative or irrational way. Can also imply a sense of being overwhelmed or overwhelmed by emotions.

Examples of Climb the walls

  • Sarah was cooped up in her apartment due to heavy rain for the past two days. She had run out of things to do and was feeling restless. Her husband suggested she exercise, but Sarah was adamant she wasn't going to the gym. Eventually, Sarah's husband noticed her pacing around their apartment and banging her fists on the walls. "Sarah, what's going on? Are you trying to climb the walls?"

    The idiom "climb the walls" is used to describe a person's behavior when they are extremely restless, agitated, or anxious. It comes from the idea of an animal trying to escape from a confined space by overwhelming the walls of a cage. In Sarah's case, she was so restless and anxious that her agitation was causing her to pace around and hit the walls of her apartment.

  • The kids have been cooped up in the house all day due to the snowstorm. They've played every board game, watched every movie, and baked every cookie imaginable. Now, they're climbing the walls and driving their parents crazy.

    In this example, the kids are bursting with energy and excitement due to being housebound all day. They've exhausted all the available entertainment options and are now so restless that they're behaving as though they're trying to scale the walls of the house.

  • Mark had been working on a crucial project for weeks. The deadline was fast approaching, and he had barely made any progress. His stress levels were skyrocketing, and he was snapping at his colleagues for the slightest mistakes. One day, his boss walked into his office and found Mark pacing around and banging his fists on the walls. "Mark, what's going on? Are you climbing the walls?"

    In this example, Mark's mounting stress and anxiety due to the project's deadline have left him so agitated that he's acting like a caged animal about to go insane. He's pacing around his office and hitting the walls out of frustration and desperation.

  • The winter carnival was held in a sports arena that was transformed into a miniature winter wonderland. Children and adults alike were skating, ice sliding, and having a blast. Suddenly, a group of youngsters started running around the arena at breakneck speed, knocking over people and equipment. The adults groaned and jokingly said, "Looks like we've got some future Olympic athletes climbing the walls here!"

    In this example, the hyperactive youngsters' high energy and frenzied behavior are so wild that they're acting like athletes training for the Olympics, scaling the walls of the arena with their boundless energy.

  • Sarah couldn't concentrate on her work today. She kept pacing around the room and fidgeting, like she was climbing the walls.

    When someone is very restless or anxious, you can say they're "climbing the walls." This expression comes from the image of someone trying to escape or climb out of a confined space, like a narrow room with walls that seem to be closing in around them. In Sarah's case, she felt so antsy and on edge that she seemed to be physically climbing the walls of her office.

  • The kids were cooped up inside all day because of the rain. They were driving their parents crazy, running around the house and screaming like they were trying to escape.

    When people are stuck inside for too long, they can start to feel like they're losing their minds. This is especially true for kids, who have a lot of energy and need plenty of space to run around. In this example, the kids are "climbing the walls" of their house because they're so restless and confined.

  • Tom's been preparing for the big presentation all week, and he's so tense he's practically climbing the walls.

    When people are stressed out or nervous, they can start to feel like they're going crazy. This is especially true if they've been working on a big project or preparing for a big event for a long time. In Tom's case, all the pressure of the presentation has left him feeling so anxious that he's almost climbing the walls with nerves.

  • Jessica has been working from home for months, and she's starting to go a little stir crazy. She keeps pacing around her apartment, like she's trying to escape.

    When people are stuck inside for too long, especially if they're working from home or self-isolating, they can start to feel a little claustrophobic and restless. In Jessica's case, she's been working from home for so long that she's starting to feel like she's losing her mind. She's literally "climbing the walls" of her apartment because she's so antsy and on edge.


In both meanings, "climb the walls" conveys a sense of being trapped or confined in a situation, whether it be physical or emotional. The first meaning suggests a restlessness and need for movement or change, while the second meaning implies a sense of being overwhelmed and unable to control one's emotions.

Origin of "Climb the walls"

The origin of this idiom is not entirely clear, but it is believed to originate from the idea of being trapped in a room or confined space, causing one to climb the walls in an attempt to escape. This literal interpretation can also be seen in the phrase "climbing the walls in frustration."

The term "climb the walls" also has roots in psychology, specifically in the concept of cabin fever. This term refers to the feeling of restlessness and irritability that can arise when being confined in a small or isolated space for an extended period of time. This feeling can lead to a person literally climbing the walls, as a way to release pent-up energy and frustration.

Over time, the idiom "climb the walls" has evolved to encompass a wider range of emotions and situations, but its origins can be traced back to the physical act of climbing walls in an attempt to escape confinement. Today, it is a common phrase used to convey feelings of restlessness, agitation, and being overwhelmed.