a flutter in the dovecote

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a flutter in the dovecote

A stir or mild disturbance among a certain organization or group of people, especially one that is typically quiet, reserved, or conservative in nature. Likened to domestic pigeons fluttering their wings in response to an agitation (a dovecote being a structure built to house and raise them). The unexpected entrance of an exuberant young woman caused a bit of a flutter in the dovecote at the old Men's Only club.
See also: dovecote, flutter
References in periodicals archive ?
The action of the Birmingham magistrates at the recent Brewster sessions in refusing to renew a number of licences caused quite a flutter in the dovecotes of the liquor trade, resulting in two days of hearings at Warwickshire Quarter Sessions court.
A FEW MONTHS back, I seem to have caused a certain flutter in the dovecotes by suggesting that we were suffering not so much from too few good choreographers, but ironically enough, from too many mediocre practitioners of a necessarily public art.