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bee in one's bonnet

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A chronic preoccupation, often fanciful or eccentric: “My cousin has a bee in his bonnet about the rudeness of local cabdrivers; he's written four letters to the editor on the subject.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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bee in one's bonnet

A strange idea or notion; also, an idea that is harped on, an obsession. For example, Bill's got a bee in his bonnet about burglars; he's always imagining strange noises. This term, which replaced the earlier have bees in one's head, transfers the buzzing of a bee inside one's hat to a weird idea in one's head. [Second half of 1600s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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