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Last updated at 13:21 BST, Wednesday, 12 September 2012

To rattle someone's cage

A tiger stares through its cage on a rooftop in Bangkok.

A tiger stares through its cage on the roof of a five-storey apartment in Pathum Thani province, near Bangkok. Photo: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters

Today's Phrase

If you rattle someone's cage, you do something to make them angry, often on purpose.

For example:

I wouldn't approach John at the moment, someone's really rattled his cage this morning and he's in a horrible mood.

Why are you so cross? Who's rattled your cage today?

My girlfriend deliberately hid my car keys so that I wouldn't go out with my friends – it's really rattled my cage!


Don't confuse it with

If someone feels caged in, they feel confined to a small space.

For example:

This flat is far too small, I feel really caged in.

I don't like travelling on the tube during rush hour – you feel so caged in.

Interesting fact

Thai police found six tigers in three cages on the rooftop of an apartment block near Bangkok, this week. Tiger trafficking is a problem in Thailand, where the animals are illegally sold for their skin, fangs and organs, which are used in medicines. The animals are now being looked after by a government wildlife facility.

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