fly off the handle

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Related to flying off the handle: dropping like flies

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 ?
Now 15, he is every bit the troubled teen, picking fights and flying off the handle at his closest friends.
Brooks later added in a separate interview, "He's too loud, too out there, too flying off the handle.
He's best known for flying off the handle after he discovered other housemates were weeing in the shower.
But the faults in the famous phone are causing people to behave like they really do have a cocaine problem - flying off the handle at the slightest provocation.
Violent Darren Corbett smashed his way into a neighbour's house and beat up a guest after flying off the handle over heavy metal music.
Judge Merfyn Hughes QC told him: ``When you were arrested you admitted flying off the handle and abusing Mr Patel but denied you were a racist.
The Bill: Tension mounts at Knowles' funeral with grieving sister Tina flying off the handle and Taviner and Gilmore at each other's throats, while back at the station a manhunt is launched to catch the killer.