fly off the handle

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fly off the handle

To become uncontrollably angry; to lose control of one's temper. It's a shame the candidate allowed himself to fly off the handle like that during the debate, since it undermines a lot of the really solid arguments he'd been making up to that point. I know you're upset, but there's no point flying off the handle like that. It was just an honest mistake.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

Fig. to lose one's temper. Every time anyone mentions taxes, Mrs. Brown flies off the handle. If she keeps flying off the handle like that, she'll have a heart attack.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

Lose one's temper, as in Tom flies off the handle at the slightest setback. This metaphoric expression alludes to the loosened head of a hammer flying off after a blow. [Early 1800s]
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

INFORMAL
If you fly off the handle, you suddenly become very angry. When I finally managed to speak to him, he flew off the handle and shouted down the phone. Note: The reference here is to an axe head which has become loose, and so when someone swings the axe, the axe head flies off.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

lose your temper suddenly and unexpectedly. informal
This expression uses the image of a loose head of an axe flying off its handle while the axe is being swung.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the ˈhandle

(informal) suddenly become very angry: There’s no need to fly off the handle!
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

Informal
To become suddenly enraged: flew off the handle when the train was finally canceled.
See also: fly, handle, off

fly off the handle

To lose one's temper. The image is one of speed, as rapidly as an axe head parting company from the handle during a down stroke. The phrase is credited to the 19th-century humorist Thomas Haliburton.
See also: fly, handle, off
References in periodicals archive ?
During the hour we spent there, not one person flew off the handle.
A PILOT flew off the handle when angry British holidaymakers delayed for 24 hours woke him up at his hotel.
Kym absolutely adores Jack but she is still a bit insecure about his friendship with Michelle and she flew off the handle.
Assemblies of God minister Malcolm Macpherson flew off the handle when a member of staff at a busy filling station in Dumfries was slow to activate a pump.
But when Mr Cameron was attacked by his own colleagues for not slapping Obama down, he flew off the handle, according to Mr Montgomerie - editor of the ConservativeHome website.
Susan flew off the handle because she didn't like the way Joanne was speaking to her.
Daisy, daughter of 60s photographer Terrence, flew off the handle after a difference of opinion with diminutive Dan, producer and writer of her C4 series Daisy Daisy.