put the cat among the pigeons


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put the cat among the pigeons

To do or say something that is likely to cause alarm, controversy, or unrest among a lot of people. Primarily heard in UK. The prime minister's casual remarks about the role of ethnicity in unemployment numbers has predictably put the cat among the pigeons on both sides of the political spectrum. We didn't want to put the cat among the pigeons, so we decided not to mention the bomb threat until we knew for certain that it was legitimate.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put

put the cat among the pigeons

or

set the cat among the pigeons

BRITISH
If a remark or action puts the cat among the pigeons or sets the cat among the pigeons, it causes trouble, worry or anger. The bank is poised to put the cat among the pigeons this morning by slashing the cost of borrowing. Once again she set the cat among the pigeons, claiming that Michael was lying.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put

put (or set) the cat among the pigeons

say or do something that is likely to cause trouble or controversy. British
This expression was first recorded in J. Stevens 's New Spanish and English Dictionary ( 1706 ), where it is explained as referring to a man coming into the company of a group of women. The idiom flutter the dovecotes (see flutter) is based on the same idea of a group of pigeons as a tranquil or harmless community.
1998 New Scientist The…study has firmly put the cat among the pigeons by claiming that most of the therapeutic effects of expensive antidepressant pills…can be mimicked by dummy pills.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put

put/set the cat among the ˈpigeons

(British English, informal) do something that is likely to cause trouble: She told all the staff they would have to cancel their holidays, and that really set the cat among the pigeons.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put, set
References in periodicals archive ?
GOOD news for those with Christmas debt to clear as Santander have put the cat among the pigeons with lower interest rates on loans.
IF David Moyes wants to put the cat among the pigeons at Old Trafford, he needs to sign another Eric Cantona.
When you do things like failing to turn up for a funeral, you really put the cat among the pigeons.
AS we forecast last month, the scheduling of Premier League TV games has put the cat among the pigeons.
Ideally, if I could run the A standard in Finland and no one else achieves that in the Trials then that could put the cat among the pigeons," added Flannery.
EASTENDERS The Carters have been at the centre of plenty of drama since arriving in the Square, but Lee's confession has well and truly put the cat among the pigeons.
Last year, Mounir was rumored to be taking a mystery young lady down the aisle but the songster put the cat among the pigeons by denying all knowledge of the marriage .
Good news for those with Christmas debt to clear as Santander has put the cat among the pigeons with lower interest rates on loans.
Big Bargoed lock Edmunds really put the cat among the pigeons when he crossed for an unconverted corner try after a sharp burst down the right flank by wing Lewis Protheroe.
ST HELENS' 28-22 loss to Huddersfield Giants on Thursday has certainly put the cat among the pigeons as far as qualification for the play-offs is concerned.
The 4-1 win at Manchester City put the cat among the pigeons, and Arsenal's defeat at West Brom allowed Leicester to steal a march on the rest.
That will certainly put the cat among the pigeons in the Adnams Cheveley Park Stakes because there are not many in the field likely to appreciate very soft ground - in fact, many of the fancied ones are thought to actively dislike it.
It has, in planning terms, put the cat among the pigeons for the Thandi Partnership's architect feels Kirklees Council now wants nothing on Castle Hill except for the tower.
Mr Kilfoyle said his aim was to put the cat among the pigeons and expose the hollowness of the grand claims made for the city-region and devolution.