Dictionary: tick off
tick sb off
— phrasal verb with tick uk /tɪk/ us /tɪk/ verb
› UK informal to speak severely to and criticize someone who has done something wrong: I had to tick him off for being late again.
› US informal to annoy someone: It really ticks me off when she doesn't keep her promises.
tick somebody off
(British English, informal) to speak angrily to somebody, especially a child, because they have done something wrong
synonym tell somebody off (for something/for doing something) I was always being ticked off for messy work.
related noun ticking off
(North American English, informal) to make somebody angry or annoyed
I was really ticked off when she was so late.
tick off - definition and synonyms
phrasal verb [transitive]
2 American informal to annoy someone
Synonyms and related words
To make someone angry or annoyed: annoy, provoke, anger...
3 British informal to speak angrily to someone who has done something wrong
He ticked me off for parking in front of his house.
Synonyms and related words
To say something, or to speak to someone in an angry way: lash out, tear into, abuse...
The online AE dictionaries are not reliable when it comes to AE/BE, in my opinion. Merriam-Webster, in particular, tends to list BE words and phrases but not mark them as such. An example of this would be the entry below.
Definition of tick off
1 : reprimand, rebuke
2 : to make angry or indignant
AHD is a bit better, in that it is more likely to mark BE as BE if it is given. In this case, though, only the AE definition of tick somebody off is listed.
Phrasal Verb: tick off Informal
To make angry or annoyed: Constant delays ticked me off.
Examples from BE and AE sources showing the meaning.
Ms Goodall told TMZ that she even confronted Jackson regarding the abuse, and that it 'ticked him off.’
In the example above, the ticked off is put in quotes because it is used in the AE sense in a BE source.
tick so. off (BE) = jmdm. die Leviten lesen, jmdn. heruntermachen, jmdn zusammenstauchen
Sinn Féin's Phil Flanagan is ticked off for having the neck to go without a tie...
The scolding sparked a lively debate on social media about what was the right way to dress for the chamber.
The picture that got him in trouble! Eamonn Holmes revealed during a phone chat to This Morning that his physiotherapist 'ticked him off' for sharing this hospital snap on Sunday, following his hip surgery
A very BE example below using row, catch out and tick somebody off in the BE sense:
The row started after a man began hoarding sausages to take home when a female shareholder caught him out and ticked him off.
Top civil servant Sir John Kerr again refused to answer questions when he appeared before the foreign affairs select committee.
Earlier this month, Sir John, head of the diplomatic service at the Foreign Office, was threatened that he could be charged with contempt for repeatedly refusing to answer questions on the issue.
...MPs on the committee ticked him off for his refusal amid allegations of a cover-up over which ministers knew what and when.
tick so. off (AE) = angefressen sein, jmdm. auf die Nerven gehen
We all have pet peeves: annoying things other people do that drive us nuts. I tried looking up the most common ones online but all I got was generic click-bait. That really ticks me off. So does this …
The next one has questionable use of capitalization, but it shows the meaning. Commercials often annoy us; scolding is rarely a successful marketing strategy.
The One Auto Insurance Commercial That Really TICKS Me Off
Ted Cruz responded today to the Washington Post cartoon that made fun of his little girls by turning them into monkeys, saying not much ticks him off but making fun of his daughters will absolutely do it:
In case the German definitions are needed:
tick so. off (AE) =
Beispiel: angefressen sein, reagieren, wirken
jemandem auf die Nerven gehen/fallen (umgangssprachlich: jemandem äußerst lästig werden)
tick so. off (BE) =
Wendungen, Redensarten, Sprichwörter
jemandem die Leviten lesen (umgangssprachlich: jemanden wegen eines tadelnswerten Verhaltens gehörig zurechtweisen; ursprünglich = aus den Vorschriften für Leviten 2 vorlesen)
(umgangssprachlich) jemanden maßregeln