ruffled feathers

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Senior Member
"That's what John McCain has been known for in all these years. He has been the maverick. He has ruffled feathers."

ruffled feathers?

Thank you very much!
  • Ruffled feathers = irritated; put out (figuratively, not literally); annoyed; distressed; upset; angry.

    A bird ruffles its feathers in anger, particularly when confronted by an enemy or threat.

    In the context, it means that John McCain has disturbed and upset people by being unconventional.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Ruffled here is the past participle of to ruffle. Has is part of a verb in the present perfect tense, and is not the form of "have" indicating ownership.

    Today he ruffles feathers. Tomorrow he will ruffle feathers. In the past he has ruffled feathers.
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