be like a red rag to a bull

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be like a red rag to a bull

To be a willfully infuriating or aggravating provocation; to be something that incites great anger or annoyance. An allusion to matadors' practice of waving red rags at a bull during a bullfight, though in fact the color of the rag makes no difference to the animal. Primarily heard in UK. John's gone to gloat about his success over his brother, which is like a red rag to a bull if you ask me. You do realize that bringing your new girlfriend to your ex-wife's house is like a red rag to a bull, right?
See also: bull, like, rag, red
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