Posted by Kit on July 26, 2003
In Reply to: A head full of bees posted by ESC on July 25, 2003
: : : I am just wondering if anyone has ever heard the expression of "having a B in your Bonnett?" My sister heard it the other day and we were just wondering what it meant and the origin of it. Anything will help.
: : Putting a "bee in your bonnet" is putting an idea in your head. An idea buzzes around your brain the way a bee buzzes around, and your bonnet (hat) is a metaphor for your head..
: Someone is overexcited about one issue or idea. "She's got a bee in her bonnet about washing all the windows."
: HE HAS A BEE IN HIS BONNET - He (or she) is a bit daft, particularly on some one subject; he is idiosyncratic about something. Anyone who has had a bee caught in his beekeeper's bonnet or his hair or any kind of headgear knows that the experience will quickly make him act rather daft. An earlier related expression was 'to have your head full of bees.' In that form the expression appears as early as 1513. In 1681 Samuel Colvil wrote, in his 'Mock Poem,' or 'Whiggs Supplication': A Scripturist, thou proves, as he was/In whose fool Bonnetcase a Bee was.'" From 'Dictionary of Cliches' by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).
I always thought the expression 'to have a bee in your bonnet' had negative connotations, suggesting someone was upset about something.