Curl one’s hair

The idiom curl one’s hair has an uncertain origin. We will examine the meaning of the idiom curl one’s hair, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To curl one’s hair means to frighten someone or to shock someone. The phrase is sometimes rendered as make one’s hair curl or enough to make one’s hair curl. The idiom has an uncertain origin. Some believe it is related to the phrase make one’s hair stand on end. In any case, the image is of someone who is so frightened or so shocked, even his hair recoils in horror. Related phrases are curls one’s hair, curled one’s hair, curling one’s hair.

Examples

Florida and California are both big states with any number of pressing problems — including big budgets, natural disasters and pension debt that would curl your hair. (The Orange County Register)

“I have a glare that will curl your hair,” she admits. (The Spokesman-Review)

“I’m no prude; I have jokes that could curl your hair,” says Engvall, who will bring his brand of family-friendly comedy to the Palace Theatre for two performances of his “Just Sell Him for Parts” tour on May 13. (The Tribune-Review)

“Talk to Dr. Theo. Engelbach, who has lived on the island for a quarter-century, and he’ll tell you yarns that will curl your hair.” (The Houma Courier)

‘It was tough making the decision to manipulate her at the end because I had to have her recreate all I had heard for a year-and-a-half, and it was enough to curl your hair,’ says Tripp on the new episode of Fox News’ Scandalous. (The Daily Mail)

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