Green’s Dictionary of Slang

steam v.1

1. [1910s+] (orig. US) to be annoyed, to be angry, to talk aggressively.

2. [mid-19C; 1990s+] (also get someone’s steam up) to annoy, to infuriate.

In compounds

steam-up man (n.)

[1960s] (S.Afr.) a person who incites another to commit a crime.

In phrases

steam up (v.)

1. [mid-19C-1910s] (also get the steam up) to become angry or emotional; usu. as steamed (up) adj. (2)

2. [1930s] to energize someone, to stimulate emotionally (or sexually), to arouse; to infuriate someone.

3. [1940s] to speak emotionally.

4. [1950s] to get oneself drunk.