Bee In Your (His/Her) Bonnet, to have a

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Meaning of Idiom 'Have a Bee in Your Bonnet'

To have a bee in your bonnet means to be preoccupied with something and may also mean to talk about it excitedly, angrily, etc., often to excess; to talk about something often because one regards it as very important; to hold an unusual or strange idea or notion 1,2,3,4


"Aunt Vivian has a bee in her bonnet over the new big box store opening in the neighborhood."

"I cannot be around Harper right now. He's got a bee in his bonnet about some new diet he is on and he never shuts up about it."

"Eric has a bee in his bonnet about odors. They drive him crazy and he can't rest until he's found the source and made the smell go away."


Used since the second half of the 1600's. 4

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Idioms, this phrase and two related expressions, "bees in the head" and "bees in the brain" were first used to refer to a crazy or eccentric person. 1

The original idiom alluded to having bees buzzing inside one's head which was later transferred to having them buzz inside one's hat or "bonnet." 4.

It is likely that the word bonnet, rather than hat or cap, was used for the alliteration.

1. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
2. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
3. McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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