Don't Get Me Started

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Meaning of Idiom 'Don't Get Me Started'

We say "don't get me started" when someone brings up a topic about which we have a lot to say and are passionate about, usually in a negative way. Not to be taken literally, the idiom is more of an expression of strong feelings, whether negative or positive. More often, the intent is negative and the expression is used to express exasperation or strong dislike, etc. There may an element of warning in it: If I started talking about this, I'll never stop!

Compare: Don't (You) Start


The idiom can be used as a standalone exclamation. For example, if someone brings up anti-abortion laws to a friend who is adamantly opposed to them, the friend might simply say "Don't get me started!"

However, the idiom often used with the word "on" followed by the particular subject, or just the word "that." Example: "Don't get me started on abortion!"

Sometimes, the idiom is embellished, such as in the common variant, "Don't get me started on that unless you have all day to listen to me!"


"Jim hasn't done any work all day," said Seth. "Don't get me started!" replied Charlie.

"I wish the company gave us dental coverage," said Melissa. "Oh, don't get me started on our crappy medical plan," said Harry.


Used since at least the late 1800's.

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