ruffle feathers

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ruffle (one's) feathers

To annoy, irritate, or upset someone. Sarah's just teasing you. Don't let her ruffle your feathers like that! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle people's feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, ruffle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

ruffle someone's feathers

Fig. to irritate or annoy someone. I didn't mean to ruffle his feathers. I just thought that I would remind him of what he promised us.
See also: feather, ruffle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ruffle feathers

COMMON If someone ruffles feathers, they say or do something which upsets or annoys people. His management style ruffled a few feathers. The tall Texan ruffled some English feathers with his remarks. Note: If a bird's feathers are ruffled they stand out from its body, for example because it is frightened or angry.
See also: feather, ruffle
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

ruffle somebody’s/a few ˈfeathers

(informal) annoy somebody by doing something that upsets and disturbs them: All this talk of a strike has clearly ruffled the management’s feathers. OPPOSITE: smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
This refers to the way the wind disturbs the smooth surface of a bird’s feathers so that they stick out.
See also: feather, few, ruffle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ruffle someone's feathers, to

To irritate someone. The transfer of stiffened, upright feathers from angry birds to human beings took place around 1800. “The Dean ruffled his plumage and said, with some asperity . . . ,” wrote Frederic W. Farrar (Julian Home, 1859).
See also: ruffle, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"We were these huge suits and there was no space and we are hanging in harnesses with full weight of the 85 lb suit and your body weight on your groin, which is not fun" Emily Blunt on her new film "Most films I do ruffle feathers I don't think I have ever done a film that hasn't had some controversy.
She said: "Most films I do ruffle feathers. I don't think I've ever done a film that hasn't had some sort of controversy - that just seems to be where I'm at.
The fight is widely expected to provide Froch with a comfortable win ahead of stiffer tests in 2013, but 32-year-old Mack has done his best to ruffle feathers of the self-styled 'Cobra' by classing him as a second-rate Calzaghe.
"I want to work with those who have the task of making sure the benefits happen from hosting the Olympics and Paralympics but I won't be afraid to ruffle feathers if I need to."
"I won't be afraid to ruffle feathers if I need to." Six other Olympic and Paralympic medallists who are already school sport ambassadors will have their roles expanded to support Redgrave.
THE Bishop of Edinburgh doesn't just ruffle feathers - he tears them out in handfuls.
Ruffle feathers: Nude feather skirt, PS60, from Lipsy and black bandeau top, PS8, also from Lipsy.