Idiom: to cause a stir;
used as a verb
Newscaster: The dramatic game between Brazil
and Germany on July 8th caused quite
a stir. At 7 to 1, Germany set a new record for the
most goals scored in a semifinal game, with 5 of those goals scored within the
first 29 minutes of the game – also a record.
Sports fans everywhere were shocked by the outcome, and even many non-sports
fans were paying attention.
Meaning: The idiom “to cause
a stir” is used when something causes a lot of excitement, interest,
or agitation. The idiom is not used for just any exciting moment, being reserved for unusual moments that cause a great deal of unusual excitement, interest or agitation, such as in the
example above, when Germany set two World Cup records in its game against
Brazil. However, excitement isn’t the
only “stir” that can be “caused”; the idiom is also often
used to describe controversy, as in the next example.
Nicole: How was work today?
Joe: Awful! Management sent out a memo with a new dress
code policy that caused a huge stir, and that’s all anyone could talk
about all day.
Nicole: What was so controversial?
Joe: Well, it said women had to wear
dresses or skirts; there was no mention of pants, so a lot of people were angry
about that. And they didn’t include any
information on casual days, suggesting that everyone would have to wear formal
office wear from now on.
Nicole: Did they mean to eliminate those
It turns out the new manager decided to just write a new policy rather
than edit the old one, and he didn’t think to check it with anyone before sending
it out. Management said they’d fix it
and post a new one tomorrow, but it really caused
a stir when everyone went into the office today and found this new policy.
Nicole: I bet. glad it worked out though.
Meaning: In this example, a new manager “caused a stir” by
writing a new, incomplete dress code policy.
In this case, the idiom is being used to show that the event caused controversy
instead of excitement, even though the controversy eventually passed (when they
figured out it was an error).
This week’s idioms inspired by the excitement
over the World Cup here at LSI.