raise (one's) hackles(redirected from raised their hackles)
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raise (one's) hackles
To greatly irritate, annoy, or aggravate one. The disrespect he showed our professor during class raised my hackles so badly that I had to go take a walk to calm down. The politician has a gift for raising his opponents' hackles during debates.
raise one's hackles
Make one very angry, as in That really raised my hackles when he pitched straight at the batter's head. Hackles are the hairs on the back of an animal's neck, which stick up when the animal feels fearful or angry. [Late 1800s]
raise someone's hackles
COMMON If something raises your hackles, it makes you angry. The taxes will be designed not to raise voters' hackles too much. Note: You can also say that something raises hackles if it makes people angry. Certainly Smedley's pay packet of $1 million-plus would have raised a few hackles among the medical profession. Note: When something makes you angry or annoyed, you can say that your hackles rise. My hackles rose when I read his letter. Note: `Hackles' are feathers on the necks of cockerels and some other birds. They rise up when the bird becomes aggressive.