fly off the handle

(redirected from flies off the handle)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
An already emotional Sam flies off the handle with Connie when he finds out his daughter is in an intensive care unit and demands to know who is responsible for the accident.
BUST UP: Goldie flies off the handle as his wife Sonya steps into the fray; CALM DOWN: Sonya throws restraining arms around her hubby; BACK OFF: Goldie pushes his wife away and carries on rowing with the doorman; HANDS UP: As his jeans fall down he admits defeat
I assure her all the time that I love her and would never cheat but she even flies off the handle if I look at pictures of women in magazines.
When a condom falls out of the 14-year-old's pocket, his dad assumes he is having underage sex with girlfriend Rosie Webster, and flies off the handle.
It sets off one of her sobbing fits about being too old to find another job, or she flies off the handle and says she's retired, not my slave, and why can't I stay at home more?
Anthony said: "The other kids know he flies off the handle so they torment him.