VOCABULARY - IDIOMS

Idioms about animals

Idioms about animals

  • a little bird told me

    Meaning: I got this information from a source I cannot reveal.; I don’t wish to divulge where I got the information

  • as gentle as a lamb

    Meaning: Said about kind , innocent, mild-mannered people.

  • as rare as hen's teeth

    Meaning: If something is as rare as hen's teeth, it is very rare.

  • at the end of one's rope

    Meaning: If you say someone is at the end of their rope you mean that they are in a situation in which they have no resources, strength, or patience left.

  • back the wrong horse

    Meaning: If you back the wrong horse, you support someone or something that later cannot be successful.

  • be a chicken

    Meaning: be a coward.

  • be a cold fish

    Meaning: be a person who is distant and unfeeling

  • be like a fish out of water

    Meaning: to feel uncomfortable in a situation

  • be the cat's whiskers

    Meaning: The phrase to be the cat's whiskers is an old idiomatic expression. If you feel you are the cat's whiskers, you consider yourself to be the center of the universe.

  • beat a dead horse

    Meaning: To persist or continue far beyond any purpose, interest or reason.

  • beef up

    Meaning: To strengthen or make something more effective.

  • big fish in a small pond

    Meaning: One who has achieved a high rank or is highly esteemed, but only in a small, relatively unimportant, or little known location or organization.

  • big frog in a small pond

    Meaning: The phrase big frog in a small pond refers to a very important person in a place where there are less important people. This idiom alludes to a large frog that dominates other less challenging frogs.

  • bird's-eye view

    Meaning: The phrase a bird's-eye view is an idiomatic expression. Literally, it refers to a view seen from high above.

  • call off the dogs

    Meaning: If you call off the dogs, you stop criticizing or attacking someone.

  • cash cow

    Meaning: A cash cow refers to someone or something that generates a steady return of profits; a moneymaker.

  • cat got your tongue

    Meaning: Why aren't you speaking?

  • chicken out

    Meaning: To refuse to do something because of fear.

  • chicken-hearted

    Meaning: not brave.

  • cock-and-bull story

    Meaning: The phrase a cock-and-bull story is an idiomatic expression that refers to a story or explanation which is obviously not true.

  • count one's chickens before they hatch

    Meaning: To assume success too early, before it is certain.

  • cry wolf

    Meaning: to ask for help when there is really no danger.

  • cuckoo in the nest

    Meaning: A cuckoo in the nest is an unwelcome intruder in a place or situation which crowds out everything else.

  • curiosity killed the cat

    Meaning: Curiosity killed the cat is a proverb used to warn someone not to be too curious about something and ask too many questions because this can get you into trouble.

  • dark horse

    Meaning: The phrase dark horse is an idiomatic expression that refers to a usually little-known person who unexpectedly wins or succeeds, especially in a competition of some sort.

  • dead duck

    Meaning: said about someone or something that is is doomed to failure or death.

  • dog-eat-dog

    Meaning: said about a world where people do anything to be successful.

  • dogs are barking

    Meaning: If your dogs are barking, this means that your feet are hurting.

  • drink like a fish

    Meaning: If you drink like a fish, you drink alcohol excessively.

  • eat like a horse

    Meaning: The phrase the eat like a horse is an idiomatic expression that means to eat large amounts of food.

  • escape the rat race

    Meaning: The phrase 'escape the rat race' is an idiomatic expression that means 'leave a job or way of life in which people compete endlessly and aggressively with each other to be successful'.

  • every dog has its day

    Meaning: everyone has a time of success and satisfaction.

  • fall prey to

    Meaning: Be victimized by; be harmed by; be vulnerable to

  • fight like cat and dog

    Meaning: Continually arguing with each other

  • fish for compliments

    Meaning: Try to manipulate people into praising you

  • fish story

    Meaning: The phrase fish story refers to an exaggerated story.

  • frog in one's throat

    Meaning: To have a frog in one's throat means to be unable to speak clearly because one's throat is dry or blocked.

  • grin like a Cheshire cat

    Meaning: To smile very broadly. This is an allusion to a fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll's depiction of it in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and known for its distinctive mischievous grin.

  • grouse about someone or something

    Meaning: To complain.

  • have a cow

    Meaning: to be very worried, upset or angry about something

  • have bigger fish to fry

    Meaning: Have more important things to do; If you say you have bigger fish to fry, you mean you have more important things to do.

  • have kittens

    Meaning: to be very worried, upset or angry about something.

  • have other fish to fry

    Meaning: to have other things to do; to have more important things to do.

  • help a lame dog over a stile

    Meaning: said about someone who helps people who are in difficulty or trouble.

  • horse of a different color

    Meaning: a different matter.

  • hungry as a bear

    Meaning: If you are as hungry as a bear, it means you are really hungry.

  • in two shakes of a lamb's tail

    Meaning: In a very short time.

  • keep the wolf from the door

    Meaning: To have enough money to be able to ward off poverty or hunger.

  • lame duck

    Meaning: Someone or something that is disabled, helpless, ineffective, or inefficient.

  • let sleeping dogs lie

    Meaning: If you let sleeping dogs lie, you leave things as they are to avoid trouble.

  • let the cat out of the bag

    Meaning: Reveal a secret, usually a secret you or others are trying to keep

  • like a moth to a flame

    Meaning: Drawn to something or someone despite the dangers

  • like water off a duck's back

    Meaning: Without any effect.

  • lion's share

    Meaning: If someone gets the lion's share of something, they get the largest part of it.

  • look like mutton dressed as lamb

    Meaning: Said about a woman who tries to look much younger.

  • make a monkey out of

    Meaning: to cause a person, group, or action to appear foolish or inferior; to subject someone or something to ridicule.

  • make a pig of oneself

    Meaning: said about someone who eats too much or too fast.

  • naked as a jaybird

    Meaning: The phrase naked as a jaybird means completely naked.

  • neither fish nor fowl

    Meaning: said of something not easily categorized or not fitting neatly into any established group.

  • no spring chicken

    Meaning: said of a person who is no longer particularly young.

  • not enough room to swing a cat

    Meaning: A very small space

  • not have a cat in hell's chance

    Meaning: (also not have a snowball's chance in hell) not to be able to achieve something.

  • odd duck

    Meaning: An unusual person, especially an individual with an idiosyncratic personality or peculiar behavioral characteristics.

  • play cat and mouse

    Meaning: Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.

  • put the cat among the pigeons

    Meaning: Say or do something that causes trouble or controversy

  • rabbit hole

    Meaning: A rabbit hole refers to a world that is particularly bazar, troubling and wonderfully surreal. It is a world that is typically difficult to remove oneself from.

  • rain cats and dogs

    Meaning: Rain heavily; Rain very heavily

  • run with the hare and hunt with the hounds

    Meaning: To support both sides of an argument.

  • sacred cow

    Meaning: An indvidual or organization that one cannot criticize

  • scaredy cat

    Meaning: someone who is easily frightened.

  • see a man about a dog

    Meaning: used as an excuse for leaving without giving the real reason

  • shoot the bull

    Meaning: The phrase shoot the bull means to chat and gossip.

  • sitting duck

    Meaning: Something or someone easily attacked or criticized

  • snake in one's bosom

    Meaning: The phrase a snake in one's bosom refers to a person whom one has treated well and taken care of but turned out to be traitorous, untrustworthy, or ungrateful.

  • snake in the grass

    Meaning: The phrase snake in the grass refers to a treacherous or deceitful person.

  • snake oil salesman

    Meaning: The phrase snake oil salesman refers to a person who who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself a fraud, quack, or charlatan.

  • spring chicken

    Meaning: To be young; to be still a young and naive person.

  • stir up a hornets' nest

    Meaning: If you stir up a hornets' nest, you make trouble.

  • take the bull by the horns

    Meaning: to deal with a matter in a direct manner, especially to confront a difficulty rather than avoid it.

  • take to something like a duck to water

    Meaning: to have a natural ability to do something.

  • the straw that broke the camel's back

    Meaning: A small and seemingly insignificant addition to a burden that renders it too much to bear; the small thing which causes failure, or causes inability or unwillingness to endure any more of something

  • to sell wolf tickets

    Meaning: to make empty threats or promises; to bluff

  • when pigs fly

    Meaning: Never; something will never happen

  • wild-goose chase

    Meaning: The phrase a wild-goose chase refers to a pursuit of something unattainable or non-existent