Why do we say "Fly in the face of danger"?

Well-Known Expressions

Fly in the face of danger

Meaning:

To defy or challenge danger/be very brave

Background:

These days the expression "to fly in the face" is usually connected with danger, but it can also be used in other contexts, for example "I asked my teenager a question and she just flew in my face...".

An early usage is found in The Arte of Rhetorique by Thomas Wilson, in which he wrote "Let hym have his will, and he will flie in thy face". Wilson was a 16th century English diplomat and judge in the reign of Elizabeth I.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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