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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Find your perfect language school Search CourseFinders to find the course for you