raise (one's) hackles(redirected from they raise their hackles)
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raise (one's) hackles
To greatly irritate, annoy, or aggravate one. The disrespect he showed our professor during class raised my hackles so badly that I had to go take a walk to calm down. The politician has a gift for raising his opponents' hackles during debates.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
raise one's hackles
Make one very angry, as in That really raised my hackles when he pitched straight at the batter's head. Hackles are the hairs on the back of an animal's neck, which stick up when the animal feels fearful or angry. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
raise someone's hackles
COMMON If something raises your hackles, it makes you angry. The taxes will be designed not to raise voters' hackles too much. Note: You can also say that something raises hackles if it makes people angry. Certainly Smedley's pay packet of $1 million-plus would have raised a few hackles among the medical profession. Note: When something makes you angry or annoyed, you can say that your hackles rise. My hackles rose when I read his letter. Note: `Hackles' are feathers on the necks of cockerels and some other birds. They rise up when the bird becomes aggressive.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
raise one's hackles, to
To arouse one’s anger. The hackles are the hair on the back of an animal’s neck that sticks straight up with excitement, fear, or other strong emotion. “With the hackles up,” meaning on the point of fighting, was transferred to humans in the late nineteenth century. “I almost saw the hackles of a good old squire rise,” wrote Edward Pennell-Elmhirst (The Cream of Leicestershire, 1883).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer