ruffle (one's) feathers

(redirected from ruffled their 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

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

ruffle its feathers

[for a bird] to point its feathers outward. The bird ruffled its feathers when it was annoyed. My parrot ruffles its feathers whenever it is ready to preen itself.
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 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

ruffle someone's feathers

cause someone to become annoyed or upset.
See also: feather, ruffle
References in classic literature ?
They ruffled their feathers, and cried, "No surrender!" The featherless beings plied their work cheerfully, and answered, "Reform!" The creepers were torn down this way and that.
figure By DR JOSEPH MUGACHIA In the last one month, a number of chicken farmers have asked me whether there is universal treatment for poultry diseases.One farmer from Mombasa asked if I thought it is profitable for one to call a veterinary doctor or a paravet every time her birds ruffled their feathers.