ruffle someone's feathers

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

ruffle someone's feathers

Annoy or offend someone, as in Calling him a tightwad really ruffled his feathers. This term alludes to the stiffened, upright feathers of an angry bird. [Mid-1800s]
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle someone's feathers

cause someone to become annoyed or upset.
See also: feather, ruffle
References in periodicals archive ?
Gifts less likely to ruffle someone's feathers -- jewelery and music/CDs tied at 6 percent, while food items and gift certificates came in at 10 percent.