spit feathers

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spit feathers (third-person singular simple present spits feathers, present participle spitting feathers, simple past spat feathers or (US) spit feathers, past participle spat feathers)

  1. (idiomatic) To feel very thirsty.
  2. (idiomatic) To feel very angry; to sputter angrily.
    • 2007, Imogen Edwards-Jones and Anonymous, Fashion Babylon, →ISBN, p. 19 (Google books view):
      He is high as a kite on Fair Trade espressos and spitting feathers that Ted Nicholls is apparently having some sort of comeback.
    • 2011, Jonathan Wright, Heretics: The Creation of Christianity from the Gnostics to the Modern Church, →ISBN, p. 258 (Google books view):
      Yesterday's heresy—the sort of thing that made orthodox theologians spit feathers—becomes today's tourist attraction.
    • 2012, Tom Bennett, Teacher: Mastering the Art and Craft of Teaching, →ISBN, p. 43 (Google books view):
      Spartan education was entirely geared to the sublimation of the individual to the state, the disintegration of the ego and its reorientation as an agent of Spartan civilization. Proponents of child-centred education would spit feathers, I imagine.

Usage notes[edit]