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a bee in (one's) bonnet
An obsession, often with something that is strange or a source of agitation. Ever since the blizzard last year, Dad has had a bee in his bonnet about moving to a warmer climate. It seems that Mike still has a bee in his bonnet over the criticism he got in the staff meeting.
fling (one's) bonnet over the windmill
To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, flinging her bonnet over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't fling your bonnet over the windmill.
have a bee in (one's) bonnet
To talk incessantly about something one thinks is important (often in spite of others' disinterest). Ever since the blizzard last year, Dad has had a bee in his bonnet about moving to a warmer climate It seems that Mike still has a bee in his bonnet over the criticism he got in the staff meeting.
put a bee in (one's) bonnet
1. To give one a suggestion of or idea about something that one should do, especially something that one becomes very interested in or obsessed with as a result. Someone put a bee in my bonnet that I should really advertise aggressively on social media, so I've been trying to bolster that side of the business lately. MY father put a bee in his Harry's bonnet last week about growing his own vegetables, and he's been out digging up a garden for them ever since.
2. To cause one to be extremely aggravated, irritated, or angry (about something). You look upset—what's put a bee in your bonnet? It really puts a bee in my bonnet when you undermine me like that in front of the kids.
throw (one's) bonnet over the windmill
To act in a deranged, reckless, or unconventional manner. Refers to the eponymous character of the novel Don Quixote, who tosses his hat over a windmill (which he imagines is a giant) as a challenge to it. Sarah is always trying to buck social conventions, throwing her bonnet over the windmill whenever possible. I know you like to take risks in business, but don't throw your bonnet over the windmill.
bee in one's bonnet
a single idea or a thought that remains in one's mind; an obsession. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) I have a bee in my bonnet over that cool new car I saw, and I can't stop thinking about it. I got a bee in my bonnet about swimming. I just wanted to go swimming all the time.
put a bee in someone's bonnet (about someone or something)
Fig. to give someone an idea about someone or something; to urge someone to do something. Julie put a bee in my bonnet about a way to solve our money problems. Sam put a bee in my bonnet about having a party for Jane. He put a bee in my bonnet about Jane. I'm glad he put a bee in my bonnet.
bee in one's bonnet
A strange idea or notion; also, an idea that is harped on, an obsession. For example, Bill's got a bee in his bonnet about burglars; he's always imagining strange noises. This term, which replaced the earlier have bees in one's head, transfers the buzzing of a bee inside one's hat to a weird idea in one's head. [Second half of 1600s]
have a bee in your bonnet
If you have a bee in your bonnet about a subject, you feel very strongly about it and keep talking about it. Daley has a bee in her bonnet about the state of popular music. There was no arguing with the boy when he'd got a bee in his bonnet. Note: This expression suggests that you think the subject that a person keeps talking about is not important. The expression is considered old-fashioned in American English. Note: Two images are suggested by this expression. The first is of thoughts moving around inside someone's head like bees. The second is of someone who has a bee trapped in their hat and is anxious to get it out before they are stung.
have a bee in your bonnethave an obsessive preoccupation with something. informal
This expression, along with have bees in the head or bees in the brain , was first used to refer to someone who was regarded as crazy or eccentric.
have a ˈbee in your bonnet(informal) think or talk about something all the time and believe that it is very important: Harry’s always going around opening windows. He’s got a bee in his bonnet about fresh air.
A bonnet is a hat tied with strings under the chin, worn by babies and, especially in the past, by women.
a bee in (one's) bonnet
1. An impulse to do something; a notion.
2. An obsession.
bee in one's bonnet, to have a
To have a strange fixation about something; to have an eccentric idea or fantasy. A version of the term appears in Robert Herrick’s “Mad Maid’s Song” (ca. 1648): “. . . the bee which bore my love away, I’ll seek him in your bonnet brave.” Allegedly the expression stems from the analogy of a bee buzzing inside one’s hat to a peculiar idea in one’s head. It has been a cliché since the eighteenth century. Lest one think it is obsolete, it appeared in a 2004 murder mystery: “By the way, what bee got into your bonnet at the meeting? Bailey had been pretty cooperative” (David Baldacci, Hour Game).