A sudden but violent outburst of a person shouting, screaming recriminations and (possibly) wailing, generally short-lived but shocking.
"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.
-- "When I told Sarah she couldn't have the doll, she broke down and pitched a major hissy fit. Right there in the toy department at Target!"
--"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.
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