set one's hair on fire


Alternative formsEdit


Possibly from stories of Viking marauders said to have set their hair and beards on fire when running into battle in order to appear fanatical and fearsome


  • (file)


set one's hair on fire (third-person singular simple present sets one's hair on fire, present participle setting one's hair on fire, simple past and past participle set one's hair on fire)

  1. (idiomatic) To become wildly impassioned; to behave crazily.
    • 2009 March 31, Vanessa Ho, "Study: Seattle home for alcoholics saved taxpayers $4 million," Seattle Post-Intelligencer (retrieved 22 Sept 2017):
      "It was perceived that we were opening a party house where people could drink and run amok and generally set their hair on fire," said Bill Hobson, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center.
    • 2012 April 5, Allen Garr, "Blaming Chinese for high house prices in Vancouver is racist," Vancouver Courier (Canada) (retrieved 22 Sept 2017):
      [T]he problem is the extreme shortage of affordable housing. You can do as the city has decided to do, which is set up a task force to deal with affordable housing. . . . Or you can set your hair on fire and blame Chinese foreigners.
    • 2017 May 23, David Brooks, "Opinion: The Alienated Mind," New York Times (retrieved 22 Sept 2017):
      As the impeachment investigation proceeds, it’ll be important for us Trump critics to not set our hair on fire every day, to evaluate the evidence as if it were against a president we ourselves voted for.
    • 2017 September 19, Heather Mallick, "Trump sets his hair on fire at the UN," The Star (Canada) (retrieved 22 Sept 2017):
      It is difficult to sum up the speech, despite having taken notes while watching on three screens, because the whammos, the bone chips and viscera, came at us faster than they could be wiped away.


Derived termsEdit