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a flutter in the dovecote
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 unexpected entrance of an exuberant young woman caused a bit of a flutter in the dovecote at the old Men's Only club.
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.
in a flutter
In a nervous, confused, or agitated state. We were all in a flutter waiting to meet the President at our school rally. The economy is still in a flutter after news that the country's largest corporation has filed for bankruptcy.
flutter aboutand flutter around
1. Lit. to fly about with quick, flapping motions of the wings. The moths fluttered about aimlessly. A few birds fluttered around.
2. Fig. [for someone] to move about quickly and busily. Aunt Margaret fluttered about, picking up after everyone. Stop fluttering around and sit down!
flutter about somethingand flutter around something
1. Lit. to fly around something or some place. The moths were fluttering about the lightbulb. The butterflies fluttered around the bright flowers.
2. Fig. to keep moving busily within a particular place. The maid fluttered about the house, dusting and arranging. She fluttered around the house from room to room.
[for flying or falling things] to flap or float downward. The butterflies fluttered down onto the flowers. The leaves fluttered down from the trees when the breeze blew.
flutter over someone or something
to fly or flap above someone or something. (Also said of a person being fussy about someone or something.) The little moths fluttered over us while we were in the garden. The birds flutter over the fountain, eager for a bath.
in a dither
confused; nervous; bothered. Mary is sort of in a dither lately. Don't get yourself in a dither.
in a dither
Also, all of a dither; in a flutter or tizzy . In a state of tremulous agitation, as in Planning the wedding put her in a dither, or He tried to pull himself together, but he was all of a dither, or She showed up in such a flutter that our meeting was useless. The noun dither dates from the early 1800s and goes back to the Middle English verb didderen, "to tremble"; in a flutter dates from the mid-1700s; in a tizzy dates from about 1930 and is of uncertain origin.
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.
flutter your eyelashesopen and close your eyes rapidly in a coyly flirtatiousmanner.
in a dither
mod. confused; undecided. Don’t get yourself in a dither.