Quick English: Animal Idioms Part II

Back in June we had a look at 10 Animal Idioms, courtesy of a cool infographic from grammar.net.  Since then we've discovered dozens more animal idioms that you might run into if you go to the UK, the USA, Australia or New Zealand.

Some More Animal Idioms

Image courtesy of normanack Cat and Dog Idioms

  • "Look what the cat dragged in" - something you say when somebody arrives looking dirty or as if they have been in a fight.
  • "She's going to have kittens when she finds out" - another way of saying that someone will be very angry.
  • The "underdog" - The team or player that nobody expects to win
  • "Working like a dog" - To work very hard or very long hours

Bird Idioms

  • "Kill two birds with one stone" - this means to get two things done at once.
  • A Stool Pigeon - someone who tells the teacher/parents/police about someone else misbehaving (also a "snitch").
  • "A bird's-eye view" - A view from above, or a view of the whole situation
  • "To eat like a bird" - to eat very little.

Insect Idioms

  • "To bug someone" - To be irritating or to ask them a series of questions.
  • "A fly in the ointment" - A small problem that ruins everything, or causes much bigger troubles.
  • "I have butterflies in my stomach" - To be very nervous or anxious about something.
  • "Like a moth to a flame" - e.g, "He went straight for that cake, like a moth to a flame".

Image courtesy of Onilad Fish and Frog Idioms

  •  "To drink like a fish" - To drink a lot of alcohol, or drink very often.
  • "I've got other fish to fry" - I have other problems to deal with
  • "There are other fish in the sea" - There are plenty of other potential girlfriends/boyfriends out there, so don't be upset about one getting away
  • "Mad as a box of frogs" - Crazy

Image courtesy of groovysuvi Other Animal Idioms

  • "Like rats off a sinking ship" - Rats always escape sinking ships first. e.g, someone who gets out of a job before the company starts to fail.
  • "Like a bull in a china shop" - A very clumsy or destructive person (china is a type of fine porcelain)
  • "Monkey see, monkey do" - When someone just copies what they see rather than think for themselves.
  • "Flogging a dead horse" - To repeatedly moan about something that cannot be changed, or to go over old arguments that were settled a long time ago.

We love animal idioms so much that we made this fun illustration. Click the link to see eight different examples.

Do you know of any more animal idioms that you've come across?  There are loads more than the ones above - let's hear some of them! Share your animal idioms with us on our facebook page!

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