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Related to hornet: hornet sting
1. A dangerous, complicated situation. If we do invade, I fear that we will find ourselves in a real hornet's nest.
2. A situation that produces angry reactions. The politician's off-the-cuff remark about pollution stirred up a hornet's nest among environmentalists.
be as mad as a hornet
To be very angry. Primarily heard in US. Mom was as mad as a hornet after I dented her brand-new car.
(as) mad as a hornet
Enraged; extremely or inconsolably angry. My dad was mad as a hornet after I crashed his car. You make me as mad as a hornet with the way you carry on sometimes, you know that?
*mad as a hornetand *mad as a wet hen; *mad as hell
very angry. (*Also: as ~. Use hell with caution.) You make me so angry. I'm as mad as a hornet. What you said made Mary mad as a wet hen. Those terrorists make me mad as hell.
stir up a hornet's nest
Fig. to create a lot of trouble. (Fig. on stir something up .) If you say that to her, you will be stirring up a hornet's nest. There is no need to stir up a hornet's nest.
mad as a hornet
Also, mad as hell or hops or a wet hen . Very angry, enraged as in Mary was mad as a hornet when her purse was stolen, or Upset? Dan was mad as hell, or The teacher was mad as a wet hen. The use of mad for "angry" dates from about 1300, but these similes are of much more recent vintage (1800s, early 1900s). The allusions to a hornet, which can launch a fierce attack, and hell, with its furious fires, are more obvious than the other variants. Mad as hops was first recorded in 1884 and is thought to have been the writer's version of hopping mad; mad as a wet hen, first recorded in 1823, is puzzling, since hens don't really mind water.
stir up a hornets' nest
Make trouble, cause a commotion, as in Asking for an audit of the treasurer's books stirred up a hornets' nest in the association. This metaphoric term, likening hornets to angry humans, dates from the first half of the 1700s.
stir up a hornet's nest
If you stir up a hornet's nest, you do something that makes a lot of people very upset and angry. He has been asking a lot of questions and stirring up a hornet's nest around town. I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest with my article about the teaching of Shakespeare in schools. Note: Sometimes people just talk about a hornet's nest. It's not that companies are unaware of illegal software. It's more that they are scared of uncovering a hornet's nest — they would simply rather not know. Wasserman had no idea what a hornet's nest he was stepping into. Note: A hornet is a large wasp with a powerful sting.
mad as a hornetmainly AMERICAN
If you are as mad as a hornet, you are extremely angry. I'll bet he's as mad as a hornet about this whole affair. Note: A hornet is a large wasp.
a hornets' nesta situation fraught with trouble, opposition, or complications.
1992 New Scientist The notion of these ‘life patents’ has opened up a hornets' nest of moral, legal, social and scientific concerns.
a ˈhornet’s nesta lot of trouble: When Charles got the manager’s job, it stirred up a real hornet’s nest, because everyone was angry about his fast promotion.
A hornet is a large wasp that has a very powerful sting.