red rag

red rag

noun
something that arouses anger; a provocation; red flag: A mere mention of the incident is a red rag to him.

Origin:
1690–1700

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World English Dictionary
red rag
 
n
a provocation; something that infuriates
 
[so called because red objects supposedly infuriate bulls]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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