Debbie has been really unhappy recently. I thought she was just busy and maybe a little stressed out. It turns out she’s had a bee in her bonnet about something I said to her last week. She was complaining that she never has money. She goes to school full time, but she still has a lot of free time, so I suggested she get a part-time job instead of going to so many parties. Apparently, she didn’t like that and has been mad at me since then. I was just trying to help!
I really don’t like when people borrow something and “forget” to return it. That has always been a bee in my bonnet.
Imagine wearing a hat (a bonnet) and then imagine a bee inside your bonnet! You would certainly not be comfortable or calm. This expression is generally used to talk about negative feelings. There are a few ways to use a bee in my/his/her bonnet.
In example 1, Debbie has a bee in her bonnet about something the speaker said. In other words, Debbie is upset/angry about what the speaker said.
In example 2, the speaker explains that it bothers them when borrowed items are not returned; this is a bee in their bonnet.
Use the verb have to show angry.
Debbie HAS a bee in her bonnet. Debbie is angry.
Use the verb be when talking about something that bothers you.
Littering on the street IS a bee in my bonnet. I don’t like littering.
Visit our website: languagesystems.edu