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 (one's) feathers

To annoy, irritate, or upset someone. Sarah's just teasing you. Don't let her ruffle your feathers like that! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle people's feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, ruffle

smooth (one's) ruffled feathers

To attempt to calm or placate someone who is annoyed, irritated, or upset. I had to go and smooth my parents' ruffled feathers after my husband criticized them at dinner. The company has been in damage-control mode after the disastrous presentation, with the CEO trying to smooth investor's ruffled feathers.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

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 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 feathers

COMMON If someone ruffles feathers, they say or do something which upsets or annoys people. His management style ruffled a few feathers. The tall Texan ruffled some English feathers with his remarks. Note: If a bird's feathers are ruffled they stand out from its body, for example because it is frightened or angry.
See also: feather, ruffle

smooth (someone's) ruffled feathers

If someone smooths ruffled feathers or smooths someone's ruffled feathers, they do something to make people less angry after an argument or a problem. He acted swiftly to smooth the family's ruffled feathers. Eva generally keeps things moving and smooths ruffled feathers.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

ruffle someone's feathers

cause someone to become annoyed or upset.
See also: feather, ruffle

smooth someone's ruffled feathers

make someone less angry or irritated by using soothing words.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

ruffle somebody’s/a few ˈfeathers

(informal) annoy somebody by doing something that upsets and disturbs them: All this talk of a strike has clearly ruffled the management’s feathers. OPPOSITE: smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
This refers to the way the wind disturbs the smooth surface of a bird’s feathers so that they stick out.
See also: feather, few, ruffle

smooth (somebody’s) ruffled ˈfeathers

make somebody feel less angry or offended: Her note of apology was meant to smooth ruffled feathers, but it only seemed to make things worse. OPPOSITE: ruffle somebody’s/a few feathers
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

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.