ruffle

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ruffle a few feathers

To do something which annoys, irritates, or upsets other people. I know my presentation about the effects of climate change is going to ruffle a few feathers, but I have got to raise awareness about this issue! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle a few feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, few, ruffle

ruffle some feathers

To do something which annoys, irritates, or upsets other people. I know my presentation about the effects of climate change are going to ruffle some feathers, but I have got to raise awareness about this issue! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle some feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, ruffle

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

smooth (one's) ruffled feathers

To attempt to calm or placate someone who is annoyed, irritated, or upset. I had to go and smooth my parents' ruffled feathers after my husband criticized them at dinner. The company has been in damage-control mode after the disastrous presentation, with the CEO trying to smooth investor's ruffled feathers.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

ruffle up (something)

To mess up the smooth surface of something by making individual parts stand on end. A noun or pronoun can also be used between "ruffle" and "up." The cat really hates it if you ruffle up its fur by stroking it back to front. My uncle always ruffles my hair up when he sees me.
See also: ruffle, up

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

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 something up

to raise something, such as feathers, up or outward. The bird ruffled its feathers up and started to preen. It ruffled up its feathers.
See also: ruffle, up

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

smooth (someone's) ruffled feathers

If someone smooths ruffled feathers or smooths someone's ruffled feathers, they do something to make people less angry after an argument or a problem. He acted swiftly to smooth the family's ruffled feathers. Eva generally keeps things moving and smooths ruffled feathers.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

ruffle someone's feathers

cause someone to become annoyed or upset.
See also: feather, ruffle

smooth someone's ruffled feathers

make someone less angry or irritated by using soothing words.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

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

smooth (somebody’s) ruffled ˈfeathers

make somebody feel less angry or offended: Her note of apology was meant to smooth ruffled feathers, but it only seemed to make things worse. OPPOSITE: ruffle somebody’s/a few feathers
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

ruffle up

v.
To make some surface less smooth by partially lifting the individual parts that make up that surface: The wind ruffled up the bird's feathers. Don't ruffle my hair up.
See also: ruffle, up

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
References in periodicals archive ?
From two–tiered peplums, to appliqued ruffles and even frilled accessories, there are no limits to how frilly your outfit can be.
ZAC POSEN showcases gown with dropped waist, ruffled and layered skirt, and ruffle detail at shoulder.
GIVE RUFFLES AND LACE NEW ATTITUDE BY CONTRASTING THEM WITH BOLD, IN-YOUR-FACE JEWELRY.
Noel Chance was reportedly surprised when Red Ruffles won a bumper at Newbury on his racecourse debut, since the gelding is lazy at home, but he has shown that to be no fluke by progressing nicely over hurdles.
Ms Ruffles, who won a Ford Fiesta car after being named Slimming magazine's Slimmer of the Year, said: 'My dream was to get married in a beautiful size 12 wedding dress and have my reception in a marquee - not to be wearing one.
"Don't worry, Ruffles. I'll be back in two shakes of a chipmunk's tail!"
A bacterium and potential host cell first chat; then the host cell ruffles and allows the bacterium entrance.
NEW YORK--Poly-Commodity, an importer of bedding, is introducing eight new yarn-dyed plaid flannel sheets, duvet covers, shams and dust ruffles. They will be ready for delivery by February.
The last time we looked (May 1989), the lowest-fat potato chip (six grams per ounce-- about 17 chips) was Ruffles Light.
From the main fabric, cut two ruffles (either a front and back or two fronts), one upper front, one right upper back, one left upper back and the waist per the original pattern.
Kerry Washington Wearing the trend in gingham, the actress's ruffles are modern and sleek.
The world in pictures with Daily Post Head of Images Hadyn Iball | A woman cries in the compound of a destroyed police |station in Cinar after Kurdish rebels detonated a car bomb at a police station in southeastern Turkey, then attacked it with rocket launchers killing five people AHMET UN muslim |pilgrims circle the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, during the pilgrimage of UmrahAMR NABIL | Artist Zoe Bradley's 'Red Ruffle Gown' sculpture containing 5,940 ruffles of paper which will be exhibited |during Sotheby's forthcoming 'Of Royal and Noble Descent' sale due to take place between 14th and 18th January in London LAUREN HURLEY/PA