hornet

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hornet's nest

1. A dangerous, complicated situation. If we do invade, I fear that we will find ourselves in a real hornet's nest.
2. A situation that produces angry reactions. The politician's off-the-cuff remark about pollution stirred up a hornet's nest among environmentalists.
See also: nest

be as mad as a hornet

To be very angry. Primarily heard in US. Mom was as mad as a hornet after I dented her brand-new car.
See also: hornet, mad

mad as a hornet

Enraged; extremely or inconsolably angry. My dad was mad as a hornet after I crashed his car You make me mad as a hornet with the way you carry on sometimes, you know that?
See also: hornet, mad

(as) mad as a hornet

Enraged; extremely or inconsolably angry. My dad was mad as a hornet after I crashed his car. You make me as mad as a hornet with the way you carry on sometimes, you know that?
See also: hornet, mad

*mad as a hornet

 and *mad as a wet hen; *mad as hell
very angry. (*Also: as ~. Use hell with caution.) You make me so angry. I'm as mad as a hornet. What you said made Mary mad as a wet hen. Those terrorists make me mad as hell.
See also: hornet, mad

stir up a hornet's nest

Fig. to create a lot of trouble. (Fig. on stir something up .) If you say that to her, you will be stirring up a hornet's nest. There is no need to stir up a hornet's nest.
See also: nest, stir, up

mad as a hornet

Also, mad as hell or hops or a wet hen . Very angry, enraged as in Mary was mad as a hornet when her purse was stolen, or Upset? Dan was mad as hell, or The teacher was mad as a wet hen. The use of mad for "angry" dates from about 1300, but these similes are of much more recent vintage (1800s, early 1900s). The allusions to a hornet, which can launch a fierce attack, and hell, with its furious fires, are more obvious than the other variants. Mad as hops was first recorded in 1884 and is thought to have been the writer's version of hopping mad; mad as a wet hen, first recorded in 1823, is puzzling, since hens don't really mind water.
See also: hornet, mad

stir up a hornets' nest

Make trouble, cause a commotion, as in Asking for an audit of the treasurer's books stirred up a hornets' nest in the association. This metaphoric term, likening hornets to angry humans, dates from the first half of the 1700s.
See also: nest, stir, up

stir up a hornet's nest

If you stir up a hornet's nest, you do something that makes a lot of people very upset and angry. He has been asking a lot of questions and stirring up a hornet's nest around town. I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest with my article about the teaching of Shakespeare in schools. Note: Sometimes people just talk about a hornet's nest. It's not that companies are unaware of illegal software. It's more that they are scared of uncovering a hornet's nest — they would simply rather not know. Wasserman had no idea what a hornet's nest he was stepping into. Note: A hornet is a large wasp with a powerful sting.
See also: nest, stir, up

mad as a hornet

mainly AMERICAN
If you are as mad as a hornet, you are extremely angry. I'll bet he's as mad as a hornet about this whole affair. Note: A hornet is a large wasp.
See also: hornet, mad

a hornets' nest

a situation fraught with trouble, opposition, or complications.
1992 New Scientist The notion of these ‘life patents’ has opened up a hornets' nest of moral, legal, social and scientific concerns.
See also: nest

a ˈhornet’s nest

a lot of trouble: When Charles got the manager’s job, it stirred up a real hornet’s nest, because everyone was angry about his fast promotion.
A hornet is a large wasp that has a very powerful sting.
See also: nest
References in periodicals archive ?
The document, which was published by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, also described the hornets as "an aggressive predator of honey bees and other insects".
7 These hornets can cause damage to trees by stripping the bark off to eat the sap.
As many similarities as there are [between what the Pacers did and what the Hornets do] defensively, there are things that are different offensively," the Hornets head coach shared to NBC Sports right around the first week of the season.
We are honored to serve as the Official Hunger Relief Partner of the Charlotte Hornets," said Beth Newlands Campbell, President of Food Lion.
The hornets are an annual problem but the wave of the insects has worsened this year with the warmer than average temperatures.
Although the Vets seemed to dominate the first quarter, the Hornets managed to stay in touch, with the score reading 27-19.
The division of Hornets continued toward H-3, getting radar locks on a high and slow "bogey" group (i.
the options the Navy has makes Boeing believe that the Navy will opt to buy more Super Hornets," he said.
With Canada's need, the Super Hornet is the best option, and it would be an easy transition from the legacy of the CF-18s for our maintenance crews.
St Alabans hit back, but the Hornets tasted success.
Study leader Marian Plotkin of Tel-Aviv University, said that scientists already knew that the hornet species, for unknown reasons, produced electricity inside its exoskeleton.
Soon the hornets will have weakened the hive to the point where they can enter it and quickly destroy it.
If he was going to leave Boston, he wanted to make sure it was for a team that would compete for a championship immediately and the Hornets certainly are in that world.
Honeybees of the Cyprian strain can kill an attacking hornet by ganging up and smothering it.
However a spanner was thrown into the works as their Pool counterparts Hornets overcame them twice in the space of three days.