rub the wrong way
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rub (one) the wrong way
To irritate one due to someone's or something's presence, nature, or habitual behavior (as opposed to directly and intentionally). Primarily heard in US. The way she smiles all the time really rubs me the wrong way. It seems so fake. He's always talking about how those commercials rub him the wrong way, but I think they're cute.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
rub someone('s fur) the wrong way
Fig. to irritate someone. I'm sorry I rubbed your fur the wrong way. I didn't mean to upset you. Don't rub her the wrong way!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
rub the wrong way
Irritate, annoy, as in His remarks about welfare rubbed a great many people the wrong way. This idiom alludes to rubbing an animal's fur in the wrong direction. [Mid-1800s] Also see ruffle someone's feathers.
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.
rub (someone) the wrong way
To annoy; irritate: "One can see ... how [his] expression of his ideals and intentions must have rubbed many people the wrong way" (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
rub the wrong way, to
To annoy. This expression transfers rubbing a cat’s fur in the wrong direction to irritating a human being. (See also against the grain.) The British locution is to rub someone up the wrong way and dates from the mid-nineteenth century. “Don’t rub her prejudices up the wrong way,” wrote H. Aïdé (Carr of Carrlyou, 1862).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer