flutter the dovecotes
flutter the dovecote
To cause a stir or mild disturbance among a certain organization or group of people, especially one that is typically quiet, reserved, or conservative in nature. Likened to domestic pigeons fluttering their wings in response to an agitation (a dovecote being a structure built to house and raise them). The exuberant young woman fluttered the dovecote of the old Men's Only club by bursting in unannounced.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
flutter the dovecotesalarm, startle, or upset a sedate or conventionally minded community.
This expression may come from Shakespeare's Coriolanus: ‘like an eagle in a dove-cote, I Fluttered your Volscians in Corioli’. Compare with put the cat among the pigeons (at cat).
1992 Daily Telegraph It is however the arrival of Michael Heseltine at the DTI that will flutter the dovecotes most of all.
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