I came across the passage "My mum would get in a flap...", so I wonder: what does "get in a flap" mean?

I've found that "flap" means, as a noun: 'An excited state of agitation'. Of course, there are other meanings, but I found this one to be the nearest in context. I still can't quite figure out the correct explanation though.

  • 3
    This uses get in the sense "to become or cause to become or act as specified" (Collins, 5) and flap in the sense you have identified. Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 23:28
  • Alternatively, the writer's mum climbed inside a thin, flat, hinged opening on a regular basis...(note to non-native speakers: this is a joke. Please do not take it seriously XD) Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 23:35
  • Is that in addition to or in place of the one for the cat?
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:57

2 Answers 2



get in a flap

is to be agitated, worried, or excited (not in a good way) about something.
It is a typical BrE expression.

It can have the same meaning as

Don't get your knickers in a twist.

It is the opposite of

chill out
calm down

  • I got it, I think that "get in flap" can be replaced by "get nervous" too.
    – O.Badr
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 6:43

"Get in a flap" means become worried or excited or be agitated. It is an informal use.

You shouldn't get in such a flap about things.

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