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ten animal idioms

Average: 4.3 (28 votes)

'Are you bull-headed?'  What does that mean?

Here are a few natural English expressions (idioms) using animals. Like most languages, in English animals are used in many idiomatic expressions. Today we take a look at some basic, widely used, expressions:

to pig out

To eat too much:

'I really pigged out at the barbeque. I've never eaten so much.'

to chicken out

To be too scared to do something usually after previously agreeing to do it:

'I was going to do a parachute jump, but I chickened out on the day.'

to be a dark horse

A person who keeps their interests and ideas secret, especially someone who has a surprising ability or skill:

'I didn't know that Sandra could play the drums. She's such a dark horse .'

to be a pussy cat

A person who is very gentle:

'Don't worry. He looks frightening, but really he's a pussy cat.'

to be bull-headed

This adjective is used to describe a person who is stubborn:

'Stop being so bull-headed and come to the cinema with us. Everyone is going except you.'

to be in the dog house

This expression means 'to be in trouble':

'I'm in the dog house with my wife after I forgot out anniversary.'

to smell fishy

When a situation 'smells fishy' we think that it is dishonest or suspicious:

'My son's story smells fishy. He said that he'd been in the library all day, but I think it's closed today.'

to be a rat

This negative noun is used to describe a person who deserts his friends or associates, especially in times of trouble. Someone who is not loyal:

'Michael is such a rat. He left as soon as the trouble started.'

to be like a bull in a china shop

When someone is like a bull in a china shop they act carelessly in the way they move or behave:

'The footballer ran around like a bull in a china shop until he was sent off.'

to talk the hind legs off a donkey

This expression is used to describe a person who talks too much:

'Her speech seemed to go on for ever; she could talk the hind legs off a donkey.'

Tell us about some animal idioms you have in your language. Translate them into English and add them to the 'comments'.

Now choose the correct idiom to complete the sentences:

Sports idioms for business

  • Slow down; you are going to break something. You are ___!

  • I've been ___ out on fast food all day.

  • My star sign is Taurus. We're well known for being stubborn, but I don't think I am ___.

  • I talk to my sister for hours on the phone. We can both ___.

  • Tony is a ___. He didn't tell anyone he was taking the TOEFL test.

  • My boss is a ___. He's so kind and sweet.

  • The police thought that the man's story ___. They didn't believe what he told them.

  • All the workers, apart from one, decided not to work until they got a pay rise. They all thought he was a ___.

  • You promised you would do a bungee jump with us. You can't ___ now!

  • After forgetting to do my homework, I was ___ with my teacher.


Very informative

This is really good exercise. I knew a number of new idioms which will really enrich my English.

Muhammad Luqman
23/B, St. 15, Jannat Park, Ansari Road, Islampura, Lahore
Pakistan, Phone: +92427159533

As quiet as a mouse.

We say 'as quiet as a mouse'. It means very quiet. It is used in English too.

Slovak idioms

to sit quiet and without moving- to sit like 5 coins
to get from bad situation to the worse- to step from mud to pool
to be backward, awkward- to be hundreeds years behind apes
We have much more idioms... I hope it is enough for now

I have tried

A fox which has a tiger standing behind--a person bullying people by flaunting his powerful connections.

camouflage as a pig and eat a tiger--one's pretending himself as a fool so as to defeat someone much more stronger than him.

bring down two birds with one pebble--achieve two goals with a single tactic.

few animal idioms

This session was very informative. i can add few more idioms.
Box witout top in the cortyard- well
The donkey which runs and jumps but stops on seeing water-slippers

Pig might fly.- The things

Pig might fly.- The things can happened.
This place is a pigsty.- dirty place.
Made a pig's ear-to do something very bad.


I like this lesson!
to buy a cat in a bag - to buy smth that you don't know what it is;
to eat like a cow - to eat a lot;

white mouse

We use many animal idioms but I can't remember them at the moment. One of them is; I can't see even a white mouse. It means I can't see anything.

to be stubborn as a

to be stubborn as a donkey
to be angry like a dog
to be hungry as a wolf
a working horse= to work hard
to work like a bee

animal idioms

Thanks for this interesting lesson. I didn't know these idioms before.

Greetings Raised Eyebrow

Ten Animal Idioms

i got all write, good lesson