"Hissy fit" used to describe an adult tantrum but now has become an equal opportunity description, young or old, male or female. What they all have in common is no matter how severe the (alleged) offense, there is always some wounded pride involved, and usually an audience of bystanders along with the culprit who allegedly triggered the hissy.
--"So when Joe got fired, all he did was throw a hissy fit out in the hall? Terrible. REAL men used to slug each other."
--"She freaked! She had a hissy! She thinks you're the cat's meow." 'Farmer Ted' (Anthony Michael Hall) in movie SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984), describing the Molly Ringwald character's sudden infatuation with a boy two years her senior.
An hysterical rant or tantrum, particularly one completely at odds with the gravity of the situation being protested. Often involves stamping of feet, whining, biting, clawing, and loud, obnoxious, screaming tears. One may "have" or "pull" a hissy-fit.
Children under the age of four tend to collapse into hissy-fits when confronted with adversity, but hissy-fits are by no means limited to a certain age group or gender.
Main Entry: hissyfit
Etymology 1: Used on west coast by mothers, circa 1952-
1: A tantrum. A loud outcry followed by stamping feet, clawing, biting, or obnoxious tears.
2: An overt negative response for no reason. A long response in the negative.