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

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 ?
She expects him to fly off the handle but Charlie plays it cool and opts for a more subtle form of revenge - by hiding one of her shoes.
They didn't expect Gary to fly off the handle quite so much.
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.
But rather than fly off the handle, the boys - both 27 - spot the photographers watching and burst out laughing, well aware their naughty parking has been caught on camera.
If you find yourself about to fly off the handle, walk away until you've calmed down.
If I approach the subject of taking drugs, I'm afraid he'll fly off the handle and it will make the situation worse.
As you get older, you are more experienced, more sensible and less likely to fly off the handle.
Stress, lack of sleep, and work or personal worries can make you fly off the handle easily.
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.
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.