He really rubs him up the wrong tree – Part 2Posted: September 29, 2013
“My ol’ Pal” notes that there is a distinction between the American and the British idiom for annoying someone. As usual, she is right. The British say “he really rubs me up the wrong way”, while we in the States say “he really rubs me the wrong way”. The speaker who uttered the subject malaphor might have been British as the mix-up makes even more sense, if a mix-up can make sense. Incidentally, the origin of both phrases refers to the stroking of an animal’s fur in the wrong direction (from tail to head), causing the animal to become annoyed. My cats certainly get very irritated with me when I do that. Speaking of the Brits, they also use the phrase”rub up” to describe trying to recall something.