What does ‘in a right state’ mean?
An idiom used to describe someone who is in an emotional or mental state of extreme agitation, distress, or confusion.
Perplexing Emotional Turmoil
"In a right state" is a common idiom in informal spoken English, particularly in British English. It is used to describe a person who is in a state of extreme distress, confusion, or anxiety. This idiom can be used to express a wide range of emotions, from frustration and anger to confusion and anxiety. It is often used when someone is upset, angry, or frustrated about a situation or event. Additionally, it can also be used to describe a person who is disheveled, messy, or in a state of disarray.
The phrase "in a right state" originated in British English in the early 19th century. The word "right" in this context does not refer to correctness or morality, but rather serves as an intensifier for the adjective "state." The term "state" has a long history in English and has been used since the 14th century to refer to a condition or state of affairs. By combining the intensifying adverb "right" with "state," the phrase takes on an even stronger meaning, emphasizing the extreme nature of the state someone is in.
This idiom is often used colloquially in various contexts. For example, it can be used to describe someone's emotional state after experiencing a particularly difficult or challenging situation. If someone loses their job, for chrissake, they might be described as being "in a right state," indicating that they are extremely upset or distressed. It is a way to convey the intensity of the emotions they are feeling.
Furthermore, the idiom can also be used to describe a person's physical appearance. If someone is "in a right state," it suggests that their appearance is disheveled, untidy, or messy. This usage is more commonly found in British English and is less frequently used in American English.
The versatility of the idiom "in a right state" makes it a colorful addition to everyday conversation. It effectively conveys a sense of extreme distress, confusion, or disarray, allowing individuals to vividly express their emotions or describe the appearance of others. While primarily used in British English, it can occasionally be heard in American English as well.
Another related idiom is "in a state," which is similar to "in a right state" but without the intensifier "right." This idiom also conveys a sense of distress or confusion. For example, one might say, "After the car broke down, she was in a state," indicating that the person was upset or flustered. Unlike "in a right state," this idiom does not emphasize the extreme nature of the emotional state.
Additonally, the idiom "for chrissake" is a colloquial expression used to express frustration, emphasis, or exasperation. It is often used in situations where the speaker is annoyed or incredulous. For example, one might say, "For chrissake, can you please turn down the music?" This expression adds emphasis and urgency to the speaker's request. While not directly related to "in a right state," it can be used in conjunction with it to further amplify the emotional intensity being conveyed.
Yet another related idiom is "fucked up." This expression is used to describe something that is in a state of disarray, chaos, or dysfunction. It is often used to express frustration, disappointment, or disbelief. For example, one might say, "The meeting was so fucked up, nothing got accomplished." This idiom conveys a similar level of extreme distress or disarray as "in a right state," but in a more vulgar manner. It is a stronger and more explicit expression of frustration or disappointment.
The idiom "in a right state" is widely used in informal spoken English, particularly in British English, to describe a person who is in a state of extreme distress, confusion, or anxiety. It can be used to convey a range of emotions and can also describe a person's physical appearance. Furthermore, related idioms such as "in a state," "for chrissake," and "fucked up" can be used in conjunction with "in a right state" to further amplify or emphasize the emotional intensity being expressed. These idioms, while distinct in their own ways, all contribute to the colorful and expressive nature of the English language.
1. After her car accident, Lucy was in a right state and couldn't stop crying.
2. When Mark realized he had forgotten his passport, he was in a right state of panic.
3. The kitchen was in a right state after the children finished baking, with flour everywhere and dishes piled up in the sink.