rattle (one's) cage

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Related to rattle cage: so much for, pay a visit, in droves, in the wrong

rattle (one's) cage

To purposefully anger, upset, or unnerve someone, especially to affect their performance or undermine their credibility. He makes a point of taunting his opponent before each match in order to rattle their cage. The audience member asked a number of embarrassing questions about her past in an obvious attempt to rattle her cage.
See also: cage, rattle

rattle someone's cage

If you rattle someone's cage, you do or say something that upsets or annoys them. One thing I've learnt as an editor is that you can't create a truly superb magazine without rattling someone's cage. I don't rattle their cages and they don't rattle mine.
See also: cage, rattle
References in periodicals archive ?
He'll rattle cages, shred reputations and work with more gusto than a navvy.
STAYING with Greg Dyke, he backs David Gill to rattle cages at the top of world football now he's a FIFA vice-president on the grounds that: "It needs someone from the awkward squad asking tough questions.
THE bottom line is whether the Greens and the PDs have the bottle to stick to their guns and whether the mounting unease among Fianna Fail councillors, nervous of losing their seats in next year's local election, starts to rattle cages.
THE HURRICANE blew into Glasgow last night, ready to rattle cages, shake everything up and make its mark.