upset

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I don't want to alarm you, but

A phrase used before sharing bad news (which is stated after "but"). I don't want to alarm you, but the printer called about a few problems with our latest issue. I don't want to alarm you, but the dog has been limping around all day—I think we need to take him to the vet tonight.
See also: alarm, but, to, want

I don't want to upset you, but

A phrase used before sharing bad news (which is stated after "but"). I don't want to upset you, but the printer called about a few problems with our latest issue. I don't want to upset you, but the dog has been limping around all day—I think we need to take him to the vet tonight.
See also: but, to, upset, want

upset (one's) applecart

To ruin or interfere with one's plans or goals. Look, he's not trying to upset your applecart or anything—he just needs to meet later in the day now, that's all. I had some ideas on how they could improve things, but I didn't want to upset their applecart this late in development.
See also: applecart, upset

upset (one's) plans

To ruin, thwart, or interfere with one's plans, intentions, or goals. These new regulations could upset our plans of expanding into the European market. I had always dreamed of moving to Japan to teach English, but the pregnancy upset my plans a bit.
See also: plan, upset

upset the applecart

To ruin or interfere with one's plans or goals. Look, he's not trying to upset the applecart—he just needs to meet later in the day now, that's all.
See also: applecart, upset
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

I don't want to alarm you, but

 and I don't want to upset you, but
an expression used to introduce bad or shocking news or gossip. Bill: I don't want to alarm you, but I see someone prowling around your car. Mary: Oh, goodness! I'll call the police! Bob: I don't want to upset you, but I have some bad news. Tom: Let me have it.
See also: alarm, but, to, want

upset someone's plans

Fig. to ruin someone's plans. I hope it doesn't upset your plans if I'm late for the meeting. No, it won't upset my plans at all.
See also: plan, upset

upset the apple cart

Fig. to mess up or ruin something. Tom really upset the apple cart by telling Mary the truth about Jane. I always knew he'd tell secrets and upset the apple cart.
See also: apple, cart, upset
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

upset the applecart

Spoil carefully laid plans, as in Now don't upset the applecart by revealing where we're going. This expression started out as upset the cart, used since Roman times to mean "spoil everything." The precise idiom dates from the late 1700s.
See also: applecart, upset
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.

upset the applecart

If someone or something upsets the applecart, they do something which causes trouble or which spoils a satisfactory situation. It will only upset the applecart and confuse the issue if the topic is raised too soon. Note: You can also say that someone or something overturns the applecart. She still has the power to overturn the applecart by the sheer force of her personality and vocabulary.
See also: applecart, upset
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

upset the apple cart

wreck an advantageous project or disturb the status quo.
The use of a cart piled high with apples as a metaphor for a satisfactory but possibly precarious state of affairs is recorded in various expressions from the late 18th century onwards.
1996 Business Age The real test will be instability in China…Another Tiananmen Square could really upset the apple cart.
See also: apple, cart, upset
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

upset the/somebody’s ˈapple cart

(informal) do something that spoils a plan or stops the progress of something: Another, much cheaper hairdresser has opened next door, which has upset the apple cart.
See also: apple, cart, upset
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

upset the applecart, to

To ruin carefully laid plans. This metaphor, without the modifying “apple,” dates from Roman times. Both Plautus and Lucian used “You’ve upset the cart” to mean “You’ve spoiled everything.” Specifying “applecart” dates from the late eighteenth century, and the changed phrase is the one that survives. Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796) suggests that “applecart” stood for the human body, and that the phrase meant to throw a person down, but that interpretation was either mistaken or the particular symbolism died out.
See also: to, upset
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Currently there are two films made about his life and work - Volker Schaner''s Vision Of Paradise and The Upsetter by filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough.?
He then started Upsetter Records and opened the Upsetter Record Store.
"That's why I'm the 'Upsetter' and I'm coming down to steal Enzo's show.
The Upsetter The Life and Works of Lee 'Scratch' Perry Radio 2 10pm
10 Back Page Star Felix/Roussel 8-1 Most turf success 9 Treasure in Heaven Doyle/CDavis 12-1 Tab recent drills 4 Mischievious Lass Murrill/Roberson 8-1 Won last on Poly 2 Viola Marie Santiago/Pompell 9-2 Versatile; good form 6 Neuqua Bridgmohan/Hinsley 8-1 Turf sprint success 5 Meeka Emig/Manley 9-2 Speedy but can close 3 Token Vow Cotto/Correas 7-2 Meets a bit easier 1 Trace Valdivia/Colebrook 4-1 Seems to fit 8 Wildwood Scat Bailon/Aguilar 20-1 Needed last; upsetter? 7 Logi Spanabel/Salvino 20-1 In a little tough 6.
Two lean years followed, but in 2005 O'Brien was back, this time cast in the role of chief upsetter of the applecart.
Some of the best reggae ever was recorded there, but the erratic genius called the Upsetter was no longer home.
6 Enrage Valdivia/Colebrook 2-1 Drop makes him tough 8 Tensas Thought Hill/Catalano 4-1 Hot barn; Poly debut 1 Heavenly Hill Berrios/Colebrook 7-2 Just 2nd in similar 2 Church Road Murrill/Manley 9-2 Meets a bit easier 4 Sagara Roman/Jurado 15-1 Possible late upsetter 3 Nook Perez/Bennett 8-1 Claimed closer 7 Pure Blarney Felix/Silva 12-1 Early speed likely 5 Kipper Doodle Lopez/Butler 12-1 Been best on dirt 4.
The ECHO Arena was witness to December's humdinger between Bellew and 'The Upsetter' where the pair exchanged knockdowns through eight rounds brutal rounds before the Liverpool man won on a stoppage.
Cox is a great admirer of the musician Lee ``Scratch'' Perry (aka The Upsetter).
The Upsetter (Trojan) As part of Trojan's aggressive marketing of its classic back catalogue, this CD represents Lee 'Scratch' Perry's first album release in the UK.
As a cruiser, the 'Upsetter' won elimination tournament Prizefighter last year and though a former holder of the strap Bellew now owns, the Liverpool man has questioned McKenzie's ability to make 12st 7lbs.
The Allen Jerkens-trained Best Of Luck, winner of the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in his prep, is a possible upsetter. His rider Jean-Luc Samyn said: "He's doing very, very well.
Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Bellew squares off against 'The Upsetter' on the ECHO Arena December 11 bill, headlined by Paul Smith's British title defence against James DeGale.
The Irish upsetter has been dubbed the 'Kaobon Killer' after a string of victories over fighters representing the Wavertree-based MMA outfit.