cause raised eyebrows

Also, raise eyebrows. Cause surprise or disapproval, as in At school his purple hair usually causes raised eyebrows. This transfer of a physical act (raising one's eyebrows) to the feelings it may express took place in the early 1900s. Lytton Strachey used the term in The Eminent Victorians (1918): “The most steady-going churchman hardly raises an eyebrow at it now.”


Nearby words

  1. causatively,
  2. cause,
  3. cause a commotion,
  4. cause célèbre,
  5. cause list,
  6. cause-and-effect,
  7. causerie,
  8. causeuse,
  9. causeway,
  10. causey

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