in a lather

Idioms & Phrases

in a lather

Also, in a state. Agitated and anxious, as in Don't get yourself in a lather over this, or She was in a state over the flight cancellation. The first term alludes to the frothy sweat of a horse, the second to an upset state of mind. [Early 1800s] For a synonym, see in a stew.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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