20 English idioms with animals



20 English idioms with animals


Ants in one’s pants

Meaning: to be excited or worried about something, not being able to keep still.

Example: Sue has got ants in her pants because she’s taking a test today.


Eager beaver

Meaning: someone who is enthusiastic and works very hard.

Example: Tim is a real eager beaver. He always comes to meetings early prepared.


Kill two birds with one stone

Meaning: solving two problems with one action.

Example: I wanted to buy a purse and I also found the shoes. I killed two birds with one stone.


Take the bull by the horns

Meaning: deal with something difficult in a brave manner, head-on.

Example: Let’s take the bull by its horns and talk about this issue.


Let the cat out of the bag

Meaning: to reveal a secret by mistake, carelessly.

Example: John’s friend let the cat out of the bag and told everyone about their engagement.


Fight like cat and dog

Meaning: to argue with someone all the time.

Example: I don’t get along with my sister, we fight like cat and dog.


To chicken out

Meaning: to decide not to do something at the last moment due to uncertainty or fear.

Example: She chickened out and canceled the date.


Weep crocodile tears

Meaning: expressing sorrow which is insincere.

Example: He wept crocodile tears at the airport, he really wanted her to go.


Dog’s life

Meaning: an unpleasant and unhappy life.

Example: Jennifer lost her job and is thinking it’s a dog’s life for her from now on.


Get your ducks in a row

Meaning: to get things organized.

Example: Before you go and ask for a promotion, get you ducks in a row.


Elephant in the room

Meaning: a difficult and obvious situation people do not want to talk about.

Example: My parents’ divorce is the elephant in the room, everybody is avoiding the subject.


Like a fish out of water

Meaning:  to appear or feel completely out of place.

Example: Bob is from a small town, he feels like a fish out of water in this huge city.


There are plenty fish in the sea

Meaning: used usually in reference to relationships and partners implying that someone can find another significant other.

Example: Jane has given up on love, but I remind her there are other fish in the sea.


To have eyes like a hawk

Meaning: to notice everything, have really good eyesight.

Example: Our teacher has eyes like a hawk, so don’t take you phone out during class.


Hold your horses

Meaning: a way to say stop, wait or slow down.

Example: Hold your horses! You need to check in first, before you board the plane.


Monkey business

Meaning: silliness, dishonest actions.

Example: Children, enough monkey business! Settle down and get ready for dinner.


Like a moth to a flame

Meaning: being attracted to something or someone very strongly.

Example: When I saw the sale sign I was drawn like a moth to a flame.


Quiet as a mouse

Meaning: very quiet.

Example: This girl is quiet as a mouse you can barely notice her.


Night owl

Meaning: someone who stays up late at night.

Example: He gets most of his work done after 10 pm, he’s a real night owl.


Whale of a time

Meaning: to enjoy yourself very much.

Example: Anna had a whale of a time during her semester abroad.


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