rub the wrong way, to(redirected from to rub the wrong way)
rub someone('s fur) the wrong way
Fig. to irritate someone. I'm sorry I rubbed your fur the wrong way. I didn't mean to upset you. Don't rub her the wrong way!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
rub the wrong way
Irritate, annoy, as in His remarks about welfare rubbed a great many people the wrong way. This idiom alludes to rubbing an animal's fur in the wrong direction. [Mid-1800s] Also see ruffle someone's feathers.
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.
rub (someone) the wrong way
To annoy; irritate: "One can see ... how [his] expression of his ideals and intentions must have rubbed many people the wrong way" (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
rub the wrong way, to
To annoy. This expression transfers rubbing a cat’s fur in the wrong direction to irritating a human being. (See also against the grain.) The British locution is to rub someone up the wrong way and dates from the mid-nineteenth century. “Don’t rub her prejudices up the wrong way,” wrote H. Aïdé (Carr of Carrlyou, 1862).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer