have a fit

Idioms & Phrases

have a fit

Also, have fits or a conniption fit; take or throw a fit; have kittens. Become extremely upset. For example, She'll have a fit when she sees Anne wearing the same dress, or Mom had a conniption fit when she heard about the broken mirror, or Don't take a fitthe car's not really damaged, or Jill was having kittens over the spoiled cake. One can also give someone a fit or fits, as in His dithering about punctuation is enough to give me fits. Fit and , along with conniption fit, have been used in hyperbolic expressions to denote a bout of hysterics since the 1830s; throw a fit was first recorded in 1906, and have a fit in 1924; have kittens, alluding to being so upset as to bear kittens, also dates from about 1900.

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