to vex, vexatious
Recently, whilst reading „A buzz in the Meadow“, a most interesting and enjoyable book on insects by Dave Goulson, I stumbled upon the word vexatious (footnote on page 60 in my edition). It referd to the behaviour of the common fly as studied by one of his PhD-students (Jason Chapman, later plagiarised by another student „who shall remain unnamed“). It may not be a very common word, a fact that contributed to the discovery of the plagiarism, but it is uncommonly fitting for describing problems related to the study of flies.
Now how can we express the thought of being vexed, that is, equally puzzled and annoyed by something or somebody, in such an elegant, almost posh way in other languages? Because I do not think that the German ärgerlich, lästig, verdriesslich, irritierend or the Spanish vejatorio, pernicioso (those are some of the translations I have found on-line) fit. Es geht mir auf den Geist* or me está inflando los huevos are not appropiate either, I´m afraid; they are way too colloquial. Does anybody have something promising to suggest? I would be much obligued.
* oder Keks, Wecker , Nerven...