Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Get Your Dander Up

Posted by Elyse Bruce on June 23, 2010

The phrase “get your dander up” is Dutch in origin.  The Dutch phrase “op donderen” means to burst into a sudden rage. and “Donder op!” in Dutch means “Get out of here!”

The first published reference to the phrase “get your dander up” can be found in an entry in the 1831 edition of The American Comic Annual by Henry J. Finn, where he wrote:

A general roar of laughter brought Timmy on his legs. His dander was raised.”

The first published version of a closer version of this phrase can be found in The Republican Banner newspaper of March 1834 where the journalist wrote:

He wound up by bringin’ his fist down on the table …  and the Gineral’s hat on the table bounced up, I tell you; and says he, “there must be a change, Gineral”… but that didn’t go good, and that got the Gineral’s dander up.”

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