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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

flutter the dovecote

To cause 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 exuberant young woman fluttered the dovecote of the old Men's Only club by bursting in unannounced.
See also: dovecote, flutter

in a flutter

In a nervous, confused, or agitated state. We were all in a flutter waiting to meet the President at our school rally. The economy is still in a flutter after news that the country's largest corporation has filed for bankruptcy.
See also: flutter

flutter about

 and flutter around 
1. Lit. to fly about with quick, flapping motions of the wings. The moths fluttered about aimlessly. A few birds fluttered around.
2. Fig. [for someone] to move about quickly and busily. Aunt Margaret fluttered about, picking up after everyone. Stop fluttering around and sit down!
See also: flutter

flutter about something

 and flutter around something 
1. Lit. to fly around something or some place. The moths were fluttering about the lightbulb. The butterflies fluttered around the bright flowers.
2. Fig. to keep moving busily within a particular place. The maid fluttered about the house, dusting and arranging. She fluttered around the house from room to room.
See also: flutter

flutter down

[for flying or falling things] to flap or float downward. The butterflies fluttered down onto the flowers. The leaves fluttered down from the trees when the breeze blew.
See also: down, flutter

flutter over someone or something

to fly or flap above someone or something. (Also said of a person being fussy about someone or something.) The little moths fluttered over us while we were in the garden. The birds flutter over the fountain, eager for a bath.
See also: flutter, over

in a dither

confused; nervous; bothered. Mary is sort of in a dither lately. Don't get yourself in a dither.
See also: dither

in a dither

Also, all of a dither; in a flutter or tizzy . In a state of tremulous agitation, as in Planning the wedding put her in a dither, or He tried to pull himself together, but he was all of a dither, or She showed up in such a flutter that our meeting was useless. The noun dither dates from the early 1800s and goes back to the Middle English verb didderen, "to tremble"; in a flutter dates from the mid-1700s; in a tizzy dates from about 1930 and is of uncertain origin.
See also: dither

flutter the dovecotes

alarm, startle, or upset a sedate or conventionally minded community.
This expression may come from Shakespeare's Coriolanus: ‘like an eagle in a dove-cote, I Fluttered your Volscians in Corioli’. Compare with put the cat among the pigeons (at cat).
1992 Daily Telegraph It is however the arrival of Michael Heseltine at the DTI that will flutter the dovecotes most of all.
See also: dovecote, flutter

flutter your eyelashes

open and close your eyes rapidly in a coyly flirtatiousmanner.
See also: eyelash, flutter

in a dither

mod. confused; undecided. Don’t get yourself in a dither.
See also: dither
References in periodicals archive ?
When interacting in this way, a hummingbird's neighboring fluttering tail feathers produce a sound that is louder--usually about 12 decibels louder--than would the two tail feathers fluttering independently of one another.
It was a horrible sound, an awful fluttering," said Mrs McLeod.
Furthermore, the new research may provide fluid-dynamics specialists with a new model for studying questions as disparate as how blood flows in vessels and how insectlike fluttering might best propel aerial microrobots.
Most people have felt their heart beat very fast, experienced a fluttering in their chest, or noticed that their heart skipped a beat.
Unfortunately, the flames of fires were fluttering elsewhere.
Patients may feel fluttering or palpitations in the chest.
These works in acrylic on canvas and acrylic ink on paper are composed of intricate arching lines and interlinked geometries that do indeed suggest a sense of fluttering while also recalling the urban cacophony of Julie Mehretu.
And so they were driven to develop Carsocks(TM), using aerodynamic principals to avoid fluttering, work at all speeds and weather conditions, be easy to attach and remove, and look elegant even on their future Rolls Royces
The injection works instead by destroying some of the tissues, forming a scar which stiffens the soft palate and reduces fluttering.
I just got hit on by a horn bill,'' said Linda Countryman, a docent of 32 years, who described the bird fluttering its wings at her as a way of showing love.
A MOTORCYCLE courier rode along a motorway with thousands of pounds fluttering out of his rucksack and scattering over the road, police said today.
It may be possible to test this model experimentally -- perhaps by dropping a thin, flat object in fluids of different densities -- to confirm the chaos of fluttering fall.
The original $150,000 architectural sculpture of 2,000 hanging copper strips was intended to represent a fluttering theatrical curtain.
Before Sandved began his search for fluttering numerals, he had already found a variety of letters on the wings of Lepidoptera -- the diverse taxonomic order that includes the world's 200,000 or so species of butterflies and moths.
A major trend is fluttering into fashion on the wings of butterflies.