Idiom of the week

10. To fly off the handle

Context:

"Had another argument today with Jan today."

"Major or minor?"

"No minor. We're always nagging each other and having small rows. It helps keep us together I suppose."

"Hmm."

"How about you? You never seem to lose your temper."

"Well, not always. I usually keep calm. It takes a lot to get me wound up. The trouble is that occasionally, I'll just fly off the handle for no reason at all, which is not a pretty sight, I can tell you."

"Well, I'd better get you a pint in then, before it happens here."

Explanation: To suddenly get extremely angry.

Notes: This idiom comes from the days when blacksmiths, the people who make horses shoes from iron, used to make their own hammers with metal and wood. They used to heat up the hammers so that the body of the hammer and its head would get stuck together. If it wasn't done properly, the first time the smith would swing the hammer, the head would fly off the handle, which was obviously potentially dangerous.




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