Raise (someone’s) hackles

“Hairs on the neck of a dog are called hackles. Similarly, the feathers on the neck of a domestic cock are called hackles.” “I believe when a dog becomes angry or agitated, the hair on its neck stands up and when a cock gets agitated, the feathers on the back of its neck stand up.” “So when you say that someone’s hackles are raised, what you mean is that the person is very angry.”

Examples: “The photographs of the Iraqis being tortured raised my hackles.” * “I could see my chemistry teacher’s hackles raising as she heard the principal outline his plan.” “The kids expected the article to raise a few hackles. But nothing happened.”

The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, May 17, 2004


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