What does the idiom "fly off the handle" mean?
The phrase fly off the handle is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of fly off the handle.
Meaning of "fly off the handle"
The phrase “fly off the handle” is an English idiom used to refer to a sudden and exaggerated outburst of anger. It is also used to describe someone who is prone to outbursts and is often used in phrases such as “he just flew off the handle when I mentioned X.”
The origin of the phrase “fly off the handle” is unknown, but it is believed to be related to the head of an axe or hatchet, which is known as a “handle.” The phrase itself has been used since the 1800s, although its exact origin is unknown. It could also be an alteration of the phrase “fly out of the handle”, which is also an old phrase with a similar meaning.
The phrase “fly off the handle” is often used in everyday language, typically in a joking manner to describe someone who loses their temper suddenly. It can also be used to describe someone who is particularly hot-tempered and prone to outbursts. In some cases, it is also used in a serious manner to describe a person who has a serious problem with anger management.
- He always flies off the handle when someone disagrees with him.
- I can't believe she just flew off the handle like that.
- She had a tendency to fly off the handle whenever things didn't go her way.
From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms
English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.