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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.
See also: dovecote, flutter

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.
See also: dovecote, flutter

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.
See also: flutter

flutter (one's) eyelashes

To flirt with or feign romantic interest in someone, either by literally fluttering one's eyelashes or merely in general. Usually, but not exclusively, refers to women. She kept fluttering her eyelashes at me each time I talked to her, so I'm thinking of asking her out on a date. I like to flutter my eyelashes at bartenders to see if I can get a drink or two for free.
See also: eyelash, flutter

flutter about

 and 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!
See also: flutter

flutter about something

 and 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.
See also: flutter

flutter down

[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.
See also: down, flutter

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.
See also: flutter, over

in a dither

confused; nervous; bothered. Mary is sort of in a dither lately. Don't get yourself in a dither.
See also: 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.
See also: dither

flutter the dovecotes

alarm, 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.
See also: dovecote, flutter

flutter your eyelashes

open and close your eyes rapidly in a coyly flirtatiousmanner.
See also: eyelash, flutter

in a dither

mod. confused; undecided. Don’t get yourself in a dither.
See also: dither
References in periodicals archive ?
Arrhythmias which in other words could be called irregular heartbeats, fluttering, palpitations, and so on, can put you in grave danger, which to say directly can cause sudden cardiac arrest.
When interacting in this way, a hummingbird's neighboring fluttering tail feathers produce a sound that is louder--usually about 12 decibels louder--than would the two tail feathers fluttering independently of one another.
It was a horrible sound, an awful fluttering," said Mrs McLeod.
In the windows were the saints, red and blue and green and pink, their faces and bodies and fluttering hands outlined in lead.
Barefoot women scurried mouselike across the wooden floor, dresses fluttering.
Yet, when the ball, fluttering end over end, landed at the back of the south end zone - a tad to the right and a little bit short - it became merely the latest chapter in a season that's taken on all the elements of a Greek tragedy.
SINCE the beginning of time, women have known the importance of fluttering their eyelashes.
Furthermore, the new research may provide fluid-dynamics specialists with a new model for studying questions as disparate as how blood flows in vessels and how insectlike fluttering might best propel aerial microrobots.
Most people have felt their heart beat very fast, experienced a fluttering in their chest, or noticed that their heart skipped a beat.
Unfortunately, the flames of fires were fluttering elsewhere.
In the window of a loft below an identical tower's roof across, white doves sit on the ledge or fly off-for an instant whiteness fluttering against the immense linden that rise between the tower and the fields beyond.
Patients may feel fluttering or palpitations in the chest.
These works in acrylic on canvas and acrylic ink on paper are composed of intricate arching lines and interlinked geometries that do indeed suggest a sense of fluttering while also recalling the urban cacophony of Julie Mehretu.