Okay, so I got a little curious about the origin of this phrase – as I do – and discovered that it comes from falconry. This was a surprise. But then if you’re going to fly in someone’s face then I suppose it’s likely you’re a bird, right?
Not that this is a very old phrase (considering falconry is an old pastime). It dates from the 19th C.
So the next time your falcon misses the gauntlet on your hand and flies in your face, you’ll have a good sense of the origins of the phrase. You might also be a little grumpy with your falcon.