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(as) mad as a March hare
1. Crazy or deranged; particularly eccentric. My grandfather came back from the war as mad as a March hare because of all the horrible things he saw. I'll be mad as a March hare if I have to deal with these screaming toddlers for much longer. My family thinks I'm as mad as a March hare just because I practice a form of alternative medicine using magnetic fields.
2. Particularly cross or angry. Mom was mad as a March hare after I dented her brand-new car. John gets as mad as a March hare when he starts losing.
always be on (one's) guard
Always be especially careful or vigilant; always be prepared for danger or surprises. He's got a lot of tricky moves, so you should always be on your guard! She needs to always be on her guard on those trails—they can be really treacherous to climb.
be a thorn in (one's) side
To be constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble for one. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger. Apparently, he was quite a thorn in the oil companies' sides at the time. My little brother is such a thorn in my side—he always wants to do stuff with me, especially when I'm trying to hang out with my friends. This project has turned into a real thorn in our side.
be as mad as a March hare
To be crazy. The phrase alludes to hares' erratic behavior during their breeding season. Mom was as mad as a March hare after I dented her brand-new car.
be away from (one's) desk
To not be at one's desk at a particular time. This phrase is typically said in an office environment on another person's behalf (as by a receptionist or assistant). I'm sorry, Mr. Medina is away from his desk right now. Can I take a message? The manager will be away from her desk all afternoon, I'm afraid. I suggest calling back tomorrow.
be on (one's) say-so
To be dependent on or happen according to one's authorization or permission. Yes, I'm the manager of this department, but any big changes are on the general manager's say-so. We're going to start transferring the funds into the new account after all. Don't look at me like that—it was on the CFO's say-so.
See also: on
first catch your hare
proverb The first step is to acquire something; then, determine what to do with it. I know you're eager to plan on going to Yale, but you haven't been accepted yet—first catch your hare.
hold with the hare and run with the hounds
1. To support or attempt to placate both sides of a conflict or dispute. Many have criticized the US government of holding with the hare and running with the hound regarding the territorial dispute between the two nations.
2. To act duplicitously or hypocritically; to speak or act out against something while engaging or taking part in it. How can you be taken seriously as an anti-drug reformer when extensive documents reveal that you are a frequent user of methamphetamine? You can't hold with the hare and run with the hound, Senator.
if you run after two hares, you will catch neither
proverb If you try to do two things at once, you will fail. You can't look for that file and dictate a message at the same time. Didn't your mother ever tell you that if you run after two hares, you will catch neither?
1. To run while in the company of someone else. I go running with my friend Jake every morning before school.
2. To have a particular trait or characteristic when one runs. I've always run with awkward, plodding steps, so I don't think I'd do well in a sport that requires such fancy footwork. I've never seen anyone run with such grace or dexterity before.
3. To keep company or socialize with someone. Jason's been running with troublesome group of kids lately. I thought you ran with a different gang—did you have a falling out with them?
4. To accept or adopt something and begin carrying it out with great enthusiasm. The boss decided to run with my idea of developing a smartphone app to accompany our newest product. That's a really clever topic—you should run with it for your thesis.
run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
1. To support or attempt to placate both sides of a conflict or dispute. Many have criticized the government of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds regarding the territorial dispute between the two nations.
2. To act duplicitously or hypocritically; to speak or act out against something while engaging or taking part in it. How can you be taken seriously as a reformer when you have continued to accept gifts? You can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, Senator.
start a hare (running)
To raise, introduce, or prompt discussion about a certain topic. The MP was quick to state that he didn't want to start a hare running about the controversial issue ahead of the snap election. He started a hare that got the whole country talking about the implications of the new tax on working-class citizens.
you can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
proverb When two parties are in conflict, you can't support both of them—you must choose one. Come on, you can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds—pick a side! You're either in favor of renovating the library, or you're not.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
First catch your hare.
Prov. Do not make plans about what you will do when you have something until you actually have it. Fred: When I buy my house on the beach, you can spend summers with me there. Ellen: First catch your hare.
If you run after two hares, you will catch neither.
Prov. You cannot do two things successfully at the same time. Vanessa: If I want to pursue my acting career, I'll have to take more days off to go to auditions. But I want to get ahead in the office, too. Jane: If you run after two hares, you will catch neither.
*mad as a hatterand *mad as a march hare
1. crazy. (Alludes to the crazy characters in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. *Also: as ~.) Poor old John is as mad as a hatter. All these screaming children are driving me mad as a hatter.
2. angry. (This is a misunderstanding of mad in the first sense. *Also: as ~.) You make me so angry! I'm as mad as a hatter. John can't control his temper. He's always mad as a hatter.
run with someone or something
to stay in the company of someone or some group. Fred was out running with Larry when they met Vernon. Let's go out and run with the other guys this morning.
run with something
1. Lit. to run, showing a particular characteristic. Sally runs with speed and grace. Fred runs with tremendous speed.
2. Fig. to take over something and handle it aggressively and independently. I know that Alice can handle the job. She will take it on and run with it. I hope she runs with this next project.
run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
Fig. to support both sides of a dispute. In our office politics, Sally always tries to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, telling both the clerical workers and the management that she thinks they should prevail.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
mad as a hatter
Also, mad as a March hare. Crazy, demented, as in She is throwing out all his clothes; she's mad as a hatter. This expression, dating from the early 1800s, alludes to exposure to the chemicals formerly used in making felt hats, which caused tremors and other nervous symptoms. The variant, dating from the 14th century, alludes to the crazy behavior of hares during rutting season, mistakenly thought to be only in March.
1. Also, run around with. Socialize with; see run around, def. 2.
2. Take as one's own, adopt; also, carry out enthusiastically. For example, He wanted to run with the idea and go public immediately.
3. run with the hare, hunt with the hounds. Support two opposing sides at the same time, as in He wants to increase the magazine's circulation along with its price-that's trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds . This expression, alluding to being both hunter and hunted at the same time, dates from the 1400s and was already a proverb in John Heywood's 1546 collection.
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.
run with the hare and hunt with the houndsBRITISH, LITERARY
If someone runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds, they try to support both sides in an argument or fight. They want to keep the peace and have everybody happy. For this reason they learn very quickly to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. Note: A hound is a dog that has been bred for hunting.
start a hareBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you start a hare, you introduce a new idea or topic which other people become interested in. Some work needs to be done before the connection between aluminium and heart disease is proved, but Mr Birchall has started a hare that many researchers will be watching. Note: To `start' a hare means to disturb it and cause it to leave its hiding place, so that the hounds start chasing it.
mad as a hattermainly BRITISH
If someone is as mad as a hatter, they are crazy. Her sister's as mad as a hatter and if you ask me she's not much better herself. Note: In the 19th century, `hatters' or hat-makers used nitrate of mercury to treat their fabrics. This substance is poisonous, and if the hat-makers breathed it in, they often suffered brain damage. As a result, hatters were traditionally thought of as mad. In Lewis Carroll's children's story `Alice in Wonderland' (1865), one of the characters is a hatter who behaves very strangely. Carroll may have based the character on a well-known Oxford furniture dealer, Theophilus Carter, who was known as the `Mad Hatter'.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
run with the hare and hunt with the houndstry to remain on good terms with both sides in a conflict or dispute. British
This expression has been in use since the mid 15th century.
start a hareraise a topic of conversation. British , dated
The rapid twisting and running of a hunted hare is here used as a metaphor for the pursuit of a topic in an animated conversation, especially one in which the participants hold strong views.
mad as a hatter (or a March hare)completely crazy. informal
In this expression, a hatter refers to Lewis Carroll's character, the Mad Hatter, in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ( 1865 ). It is thought that hatters suffered from the effects of mercury poisoning because of the fumes arising from the use of mercurous nitrate in the manufacture of felt hats. The March hare version refers to the way hares leap about during the breeding season.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
run with the ˌhare and hunt with the ˈhoundstry to remain friendly with both sides in a quarrel: I know you want to keep everyone happy, but I’m afraid you can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds on this issue.
(as) mad as a ˈhatter(informal) (of a person) crazyThe Mad Hatter was a character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Because of the chemicals used in hat-making, workers often suffered from mercury poisoning, which can cause loss of memory and damage to the nervous system.
(as) mad as a March ˈhare(informal) (of a person) crazyA March hare refers to a hare (= an animal like a large rabbit) that behaves very strangely in the breeding season.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To accompany and participate in the activities of someone or something: Those teenagers run with a wild crowd.
2. To float or sail in the same direction as something:The sailboat ran with the wind all the way to the beach. On the trip back, we can run with the current, and we won't have to paddle the canoe.
3. To adopt something or take something as one's own and then proceed with it: I took their idea for a novel and ran with it.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
mad as a hatter
Crazy. Although many readers associate mad hatter with Alice’s tea party in Wonderland, attended by both a March Hare and a Hatter, the term is considerably older and is thought to come from the fact that the chemicals used in making felt hats could produce the symptoms of Saint Vitus’ dance or other nervous tremors. In literature, references occur in Thomas Haliburton’s The Clockmaker (1837) and Thackeray’s Pendennis (1850), both predating Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The synonym mad as a March hare, incidentally, which dates from Chaucer’s time, is virtually obsolete.
run with the hare, hunt with the hounds, to
To stay in favor with two opponents; to take both sides at the same time. This expression, with its analogy to being both hunted and hunter, dates from the fifteenth century and appeared in Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection. John Lyly used it in Euphues (1580): “Whatsoeuer I speake to men, the same also I speake to women, I meane not to run with the Hare and holde with the Hounde.” The meaning is quite different from a similar-sounding cliché, to run with the pack, which means to take the same side as the majority. However, both these terms may be dying out in America.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
mad as a hatter
Crazy. The standard explanation comes from the effect to the brain caused by mercury nitrate used by 18th- and 19th-century hatmakers. Another view holds that “mad” originally meant “poisonous” and “hatter” is a corruption of the Saxon word “atter,” the adder snake, the bite of which affects the brain. In any event, the Mad Hatter character in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is a testimony to eccentricity bordering on madness.
mad as a March hare
Crazy. According to folklore, hares behave as though they're “sparring” with other hares and leaping around for no discernible reason during their breeding season. Their breeding season in Europe begins during the month of March.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price