rattle somebody's cage
rattle (one's) cage
To purposefully anger, upset, or unnerve one, especially to affect their performance or undermine their credibility. He makes a point of taunting his opponents 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
ˌrattle somebody’s ˈcage(informal) annoy somebody: Who’s rattled his cage? OPPOSITE: smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017