fly off the handle


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Related to fly off the handle: on cloud nine, dropping like flies
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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fly off the ˈhandle

(informal) suddenly become very angry: There’s no need to fly off the handle!
See also: fly, handle, off
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fly off the handle

Informal
To become suddenly enraged: flew off the handle when the train was finally canceled.
See also: fly, handle, off
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fly off the handle, to

To lose one’s temper. The analogy here is to a loosened hammer head that comes off after it has struck a blow. The term is American in origin and dates from the early nineteenth century. “He flies right off the handle for nothing,” wrote Thomas Haliburton (Sam Slick in England, 1843).
See also: fly, off
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
If they fly off the handle, let them have their moment, then talk to them again when things have calmed down and they've had the chance to think.
If I approach the subject of taking drugs then I'm afraid he'll fly off the handle and it will make the situation worse.
"They didn't expect Gary to fly off the handle quite so much.
If I approach the subject of taking drugs, I'm afraid he'll fly off the handle and it will make the situation worse.
If you find yourself about to fly off the handle, walk away until you've calmed down.
Fans will next week see Ruth fly off the handle when a social worker tells her she's investigating a complaint that Ruth is too unbalanced to care for her nephew Franco.
Stress, lack of sleep, and work or personal worries can make you fly off the handle easily.
Offshore worker Robert Stewart, 37, of Edinburgh, who plans to take his wife Lisa with him, said: "Neither of us fly off the handle, so we would mix well with the others."
They are not so much fixtures as fixtures-and-fittings - managers fly off the handle, club bosses blow a fuse, halftime sees too many switches, form goes out the window, and your money goes down the drain.
He said the constant frustration is causing an increasing number of teenagers to "fly off the handle" and turn violent.