What Does All Riled Up Mean?

All Riled Up Meaning

Definition: Extremely annoyed, vexed, or hyperactive.

Origin of All Riled Up

This expression comes from the verb roil, which first appeared in the 1500s. Rile appeared in the 1800s and reflects a change in spelling and pronunciation from roil, although the definition remained the same.

Both roil and rile can mean to bother someone or to make water turbid through stirring it.

Someone who is riled up is has been upset or angered by someone else who is bothering him or her. However, it can also describe someone with lots of energy who is being extremely active. This usage is especially common when describing young children.

Although the idiom appeared in the 1800s, around the same time rile appeared by itself, its usage shot up in popularity in the 1970s.

Examples of All Riled Up

what does riled up mean

In this example, two parents are talking about their children.

Rodrigo: Do you have any plans for the winter holidays?

Alisha: My family is coming to visit us from out of town.

Rodrigo: Oh, that sounds like fun!

Alisha: I’m glad they are coming to visit it, but, to be honest, I’m dreading my brother spending time with my two youngest kids.

Rodrigo: Why is that?

Alisha: He always gets them all riled up! They can be calm and in bed; then he goes in to say goodnight. The next thing I know they’re all having a pillow fight and shrieking like banshees!

define riled upIn the example below, two siblings are arguing about their online business.

Luis: Listen, we are doing a great job selling kimchi online, but I think it’s time to expand our offerings.

Stephanie: How do you propose doing that?

Luis: Well, we’ve been selling our regular kimchi for a while now. Let’s start to produce white kimchi!

Stephanie: Fine, as long as you are the one making it. As you know, I’m going back to school next week, so I won’t be able to take on any more production responsibilities.

Luis: Come on, Stephanie! I think it will really help us make more of a profit! You need to help me with this.

Stephanie: Look, this is non-negotiable. Stop pushing this right now before I get all riled up and start fighting with you!

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article that rates the ability of professional basketball players. One of the ratings might upset some fans.

  • Not to get the Broncos all riled up again, but for the record, Madden 16 gave Brown a score of 97 points on a scale of 100 as the No. 1 receiver in the league. Beckham earned a 94 rating, one point ahead of Thomas. –Denver Post

This excerpt is about a car company that got everyone excited by offering a sneak peek at their newest car.

  • Sometimes all you need is to keep it simple to get people all riled up. That’s exactly what Volvo did last week on its Facebook page, with a photo that revealed very little, and a caption that revealed even less. –New York Daily News


The phrase all riled up means agitated.