Go postal


      • To become extremely angry or out of control
        Used to describe someone who has lost their temper and is acting in a violent or aggressive manner

      • To behave erratically or in a deranged manner
        Can refer to someone who is acting irrationally, unpredictably, or in a way that is not typical of their usual behavior

      • To quit or leave suddenly and without warning
        Often used in reference to an employee who abruptly resigns or quits their job without giving notice or explanation

    Examples of Go postal

    • Mark's stress levels reached a breaking point after his boss criticized his work. He stormed out of the office, slammed the door, and began tearing apart the company's equipment. It was clear that he had "gone postal".

      The phrase "gone postal" originated in the mid-1990s as a result of a series of high-profile incidents involving postal workers who went on violent rampages in their workplaces. When someone "goes postal", it suggests that they have lost their temper in an extreme and explosive way.

    • The tech company's CEO was livid when he discovered that a competitor had stolen his company's intellectual property. He vowed to take legal action, but also warned that if the culprits didn't return the stolen goods, he would "go postal".

      In this instance, "going postal" is being used as a warning or threat. The speaker is implying that if their demands are not met, they will become so enraged that they will act in a way that is comparable to the violent outbursts of postal workers in the past.

    • During the heated local election debate, one candidate repeatedly interrupted and talked over his opponent. The other candidate finally stood up, pointed a finger in his opponent's face, and shouted "I can't believe you're being so disrespectful! You're acting like you've totally 'gone postal'!

      Here, "gone postal" is being used to describe someone who is acting in an extreme and irrational way. The speaker is suggesting that the interrupting candidate has lost all sense of rationality and decorum, and is behaving in a manner that is comparable to the outbursts of postal workers in the past.

    • When Rachel's boyfriend broke up with her, she was devastated. She spent the next week sleeping, eating junk food, and neglecting her responsibilities. Her roommate finally staged an intervention, saying "I'm afraid Rachel has 'gone postal'! She's been a complete mess ever since she found out about the breakup!"

      In this example, "gone postal" is being used in a more figurative sense. The speaker is suggesting that Rachel is acting in a way that is comparable to the violent outbursts of postal workers in the past, in that she seems to have completely lost control of herself and is behaving in an irrational and extreme manner. The phrase "gone postal" is being used as a hyperbolic expression to describe Rachel's extreme emotional state.

    • The CEO was absolutely furious during the board meeting, and his eyes seemed to bulge out of his head as he let out a loud scream. His face turned redder than a ripe tomato, and his veins seemed to pop out like they were about to burst. It was then that one of the directors jokingly suggested that the CEO had gone postal.

      The phrase "go postal" is used to describe someone who has become extremely angry or disgruntled, often to the point of losing control. It refers to the infamous 1983 postal employees' strike in the United States, during which a few postal workers went on violent rampages, committing acts of murder and arson. The implication is that the angry person has become similarly volatile and unpredictable.

    • After being stuck in traffic for hours, John raged at other drivers, slammed his fists on the steering wheel, and shouted obscenities at the top of his lungs. His wife begged him to calm down, but he just shrugged and uttered, "I think I'm about to go postal."

      In this example, John's protracted frustration with traffic eventually culminated in an outburst of anger, prompting his wife to fear that he might resort to violent or unpredictable behavior.

    • The construction worker, whose job had been jeopardized by the latest round of budget cuts, stormed into his boss's office, throwing papers and furniture around like confetti. His colleagues watched in terror as he raged about the unfairness of his situation, calling his boss a "spineless moron" and threatening to "go postal."

      The idiom takes on a more literal connotation in this example, as the construction worker's actions seem to foreshadow the possibility of violent outbursts. The implication is that his anger is so extreme that it could lead to serious, potentially dangerous consequences.

    • Maria felt her temper rising as she realized that her computer had crashed for the third time that week. She hurled her mouse across the room and screeched, "I swear, if this happens one more time, I'm going postal!"

      In this example, Maria's exasperation with her malfunctioning computer has reached a boiling point, and her use of the idiom suggests that she is at the end of her rope. The implication is that she might take drastic, perhaps even violent, measures if the computer troubles persist.


    The idiom "go postal" has various meanings, all of which involve someone acting in an extreme or unpredictable manner. It can refer to someone becoming extremely angry and aggressive, behaving in a deranged manner, or suddenly quitting or leaving a job without warning.

    Origin of "Go postal"

    The origin of the idiom "go postal" can be traced back to a series of tragic events that occurred in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, there were several instances of postal workers committing acts of violence in their workplace, often resulting in multiple fatalities. These incidents led to the popularization of the term "going postal" to describe someone who has become extremely angry or violent.

    The origin of the term can also be linked to the stressful and demanding working conditions of postal workers, which may have contributed to their violent outbursts. In some cases, these workers were experiencing mental health issues that were not being properly addressed or managed. As a result, the term "going postal" became synonymous with someone who had reached their breaking point and could no longer handle the pressures of their job.

    Today, the term "go postal" is still used to describe someone who has lost control or is acting irrationally. However, it is important to note that the origins of this idiom are rooted in tragic events and should not be used lightly or as a joke. It serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing mental health and creating a safe and supportive work environment.