ruffle

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Related to ruffling: flounce, ruffling feathers

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 classic literature ?
Clear of the locksmith's house, Sim Tappertit laid aside his cautious manner, and assuming in its stead that of a ruffling, swaggering, roving blade, who would rather kill a man than otherwise, and eat him too if needful, made the best of his way along the darkened streets.
Asked on BBC Radio 4's The Week in Westminster whether he minded ruffling a few feathers, he said: "I don't know if it annoyed people in Number 10.
It all seemed like yesterday's northern turned page, And now on his journey from deep below, to his place above, His hand in mine, a quiet smile, no ruffling now, The pit siren will likely be his last sound.
Celebs have been ruffling a few fashion feathers this week.
First is Ryan Sheckler, who everyone knew for months had quit Daewon's awesome Almost company for a slot on the Plan B, but now we can tell you without ruffling any feathers.
Loss in microvillar structure is followed by profound membrane ruffling localized to the area of bacterial-host cell contact (Figure 2A) (29-31).
It is hypothesized that SptP may function in disrupting host actin stress fibers, thereby facilitating membrane ruffling and subsequent bacterial uptake into host cells.