a red rag to a bull

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a red rag to a bull

A willfully infuriating or aggravating provocation; something that incites great anger or annoyance. An allusion to matadors' practice of waving red flags at a bull during a bullfight, though the color of the flag actually makes no difference to the animal. John's gone to gloat about his success over his brother, which is a red rag to a bull if I've ever seen one. You do realize that bringing your new girlfriend to your ex-wife's house is like a red rag to a bull, right?
See also: bull, rag, red
References in periodicals archive ?
Anyone with any common sense will know that the Channel 4 series was like oering a red rag to a bull and would provoke public outrage.
And speaking of cattle, when Cain suddenly arrives home, Moira's figurehugging dress is like a red rag to a bull.
Freddie uncovers possible evidence at a charity function, but when he shows it to Bel, Laurie interrupts, telling them to steer clear of the story, which is like a red rag to a bull - if there's a surefire way to make them more determined than ever to get to the bottom of a story, it's to tell them not to touch it with a bargepole.
But you can't help thinking that terrorists watching this would see the nature of the film as the equivalent of a red rag to a bull.
That was like a red rag to a bull and they went after her.
FORMER Olympic athlete Steve Cram MBE took a red rag to a bull to promote a new event.
Red rag to a Bull After last year's year-long bickering over who was topdog at the championshipwinning Red Bull F1 team, which culminated in German ace Sebastian Vettel pipping Aussie team-mate Mark Webber to the title, you might be wondering if the situation is still simmering.
The source said: "Wearing a watch like that is like a red rag to a bull.
If someone tells you not to do something, it's like a red rag to a bull.
Ms McIsaac said: "It's like a red rag to a bull for people in our community who are out of work and who have skills that could be used in this construction project.
A boarded up house is to a yob like a red rag to a bull.
If you knew Raoul, it was like a red rag to a bull.
THE name Tesco seems to be like a red rag to a bull to so many people.
That kind of thing is like a red rag to a bull for Mary Portas.
A friend of Gallagher said: "Asking a City fanatic to sign a guitar for a United player is a red rag to a bull.