ruffle someone's feathers

ruffle someone's feathers

Annoy or offend someone, as in Calling him a tightwad really ruffled his feathers. This term alludes to the stiffened, upright feathers of an angry bird. [Mid-1800s]
See also: feather, ruffle
References in periodicals archive ?
Gifts less likely to ruffle someone's feathers -- jewelery and music/CDs tied at 6 percent, while food items and gift certificates came in at 10 percent.