fly off the handle


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Related to fly off the handle: on cloud nine, dropping like flies

fly off the handle

To become uncontrollably angry; to lose control of one's temper. It's a shame the candidate allowed himself to fly off the handle like that during the debate, as it undermines a lot of the really solid arguments he'd been making up to that point. I know you're upset, but there's no point flying off the handle like that. It was just an honest mistake.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

Fig. to lose one's temper. Every time anyone mentions taxes, Mrs. Brown flies off the handle. If she keeps flying off the handle like that, she'll have a heart attack.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

Lose one's temper, as in Tom flies off the handle at the slightest setback. This metaphoric expression alludes to the loosened head of a hammer flying off after a blow. [Early 1800s]
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

INFORMAL
If you fly off the handle, you suddenly become very angry. When I finally managed to speak to him, he flew off the handle and shouted down the phone. Note: The reference here is to an axe head which has become loose, and so when someone swings the axe, the axe head flies off.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

lose your temper suddenly and unexpectedly. informal
This expression uses the image of a loose head of an axe flying off its handle while the axe is being swung.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the ˈhandle

(informal) suddenly become very angry: There’s no need to fly off the handle!
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

Informal
To become suddenly enraged: flew off the handle when the train was finally canceled.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

To lose one's temper. The image is one of speed, as rapidly as an axe head parting company from the handle during a down stroke. The phrase is credited to the 19th-century humorist Thomas Haliburton.
See also: fly, handle, off
References in periodicals archive ?
You've got to get the facts and if you fly off the handle, he'll just clam up.
The manager has been known to fly off the handle during his distinguished career but he sees no reason to lose his cool early in his Irish tenure.
Offshore worker Robert Stewart, 37, of Edinburgh, who plans to take his wife Lisa with him, said: "Neither of us fly off the handle, so we would mix well with the others.
Cuellar says his new side will relish next Tuesday's qualifier against Montenegrins Zeta and has every confidence in Jean-Claude Darcheville, despite his tendency to fly off the handle when defenders put the boot in.
As a consequence we want things immediately and if we are frustrated in those desires we tend to fly off the handle.
Not one driver in Wales or the North East of England said they regularly fly off the handle on the road.
IT'S natural to crave some quality time with your husband but if he wants to see his mates don't fly off the handle or give him the silent treatment as this will make him defensive.
I wouldn't want to trust a man who might fly off the handle, especially where sex is concerned.
Coach, Rudolph Straeuli had a word with us but he didn't fly off the handle.