make the feathers fly(redirected from they made the feathers fly)
make the feathers fly
1. To cause disruption, confusion, or turmoil. The CEO's resignation made the feathers fly in the media about the tech giant's future. My mom will make the feathers fly if she finds out we took her car without asking.
2. To do or attempt something with great energy, enthusiasm, and skill. The team's quarterback really made the feathers fly on Sunday, making over 30 completed passes for four touchdowns and running for a total of 250 yards all by himself.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
make the feathers/fur fly, to
To shake things up and cause a commotion. Both versions of this term allude to hunting, and to what happens when dogs are set on a bird, rabbit, raccoon, or similar creature. Flying fur is the older image, dating at least from the seventeenth century. “I’ll make the fur fly about the ears of that old cur,” wrote Samuel Butler in Hudibras (1663). Feathers dates from the early nineteenth century. “He’d make the feathers fly” appeared in John Neal’s Brother Jonathan (1825). A somewhat newer variant is fur will fly, meaning a violent confrontation will follow. An Americanism from the early 1800s, it is probably heard more often today than the older terms. A headline in U.S. News and World Report had it on January 18, 1988: “Watching the Fur Fly.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer