ruffle

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ruffle a few feathers

To do something which annoys, irritates, or upsets other people. I know my presentation about the effects of climate change is going to ruffle a few feathers, but I have got to raise awareness about this issue! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle a few feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, few, ruffle

ruffle some feathers

To do something which annoys, irritates, or upsets other people. I know my presentation about the effects of climate change are going to ruffle some feathers, but I have got to raise awareness about this issue! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle some feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle its feathers

[for a bird] to point its feathers outward. The bird ruffled its feathers when it was annoyed. My parrot ruffles its feathers whenever it is ready to preen itself.
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle someone's feathers

Fig. to irritate or annoy someone. I didn't mean to ruffle his feathers. I just thought that I would remind him of what he promised us.
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle something up

to raise something, such as feathers, up or outward. The bird ruffled its feathers up and started to preen. It ruffled up its feathers.
See also: ruffle, up

ruffle (somebody's) feathers

to make someone annoyed or upset Her spokeswoman wouldn't say whether the lawsuit has ruffled the singer's feathers. He tries not to ruffle feathers, and people seem to like to work with him.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form smooth ruffled feathers (to make someone feel less annoyed or upset): The candidate went out of her way to smooth ruffled feathers.
Etymology: based on the idea of a bird whose feathers are not smooth because of fear or excitement
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle somebody's feathers

to make someone annoyed He wasn't asked to speak at the conference, and I know that ruffled his feathers a bit.
See also: feather, ruffle

smooth (somebody's) ruffled feathers

to try to make someone feel less angry or upset, especially after an argument I spent the afternoon smoothing ruffled feathers and trying to convince people to give the talks another chance.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

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

ruffle up

v.
To make some surface less smooth by partially lifting the individual parts that make up that surface: The wind ruffled up the bird's feathers. Don't ruffle my hair up.
See also: ruffle, up
References in periodicals archive ?
You don't know quite what to expect when you put Ruffles All Dressed chips in your mouth," said Dana Lawrence, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay.
The high street has given us a variety of frills and ruffles to play with.
Great for summer garden parties, upcoming weddings and al fresco evenings, ruffles are an instant glamour fix for any outfit.
REVEL IN RUFFLES Go as large as you dare - frou-frou flounces will really put a spring in your step.
FLYING OFFICER MICK TAKES TO THE HAIR: Ruffles Hairdressers go back to wartime '40s to raise funds for Children In Need from left factory girl Hannah Horsfield, landgirl Lissy Lodge with suitably attired Mick and Lynn Kemp (zzhwe191107hairdressers)
Volver'' star Penelope Cruz chose a deep scoop-neck Chanel Couture gown with a sweet ruffle around the neck.
GIVE RUFFLES AND LACE NEW ATTITUDE BY CONTRASTING THEM WITH BOLD, IN-YOUR-FACE JEWELRY.
Noel Chance was reportedly surprised when Red Ruffles won a bumper at Newbury on his racecourse debut, since the gelding is lazy at home, but he has shown that to be no fluke by progressing nicely over hurdles.
One afternoon he and Ruffles were playing when Ruffles started to growl.
Mandy Ruffles, aged 34, of Horley, Surrey, tipped the scales at 24st 9lb, left, when she finally decided enough was enough during a holiday with her future in-laws in October 1998.
Ruffles induced by Salmonella and other stimuli direct macropinocytosis of bacteria.
Early one morning, Chucky and his wife Ruffles scrambled to the opening of their burrow at the edge of the woods.
A bacterium and potential host cell first chat; then the host cell ruffles and allows the bacterium entrance.