stir up a hornets' nest
Make trouble, cause a commotion, as in Asking for an audit of the treasurer's books stirred up a hornets' nest in the association. This metaphoric term, likening hornets to angry humans, dates from the first half of the 1700s.
They Call It Puppy Love And Other Animal-inspired PhrasesWe often attribute emotions and other human characteristics to animals. This is called anthropomorphism. Similarly, we also describe people using animal characteristics. You might, for example, say my teenage son “eats like a horse,” meaning he’s a growing boy and consumes a lot of food. This is called zoomorphism. Zoomorphism also includes assigning animal-like qualities to gods and inanimate objects. The term comes from the Greek …
Yuo’re Albe to Raed Tihs – But Only Up To A Point: Why?Remember that word-scrambled email that’s (re)circulated through virtually everyone’s inbox at some point between 2003 and now? Here’s a reminder: Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can …
- stir up,
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.