Animal Idioms: 165 Useful Animal Idioms from A-Z 1

Animal Idioms: 165 Useful Animal Idioms from A-Z

Animal Idioms! List of common animal idioms and phrases in English with meaning, ESL printable worksheets and example sentences. Learn can of worms meaning and other animal idioms to help your English sound more like a native speaker.

List of Animal Idioms in English

List of commonly used animal idioms and sayings from A to Z.

  • Different Kettle of Fish
  • Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots
  • (Bird in a) Gilded (Golden) Cage
  • (Don’t) Have a Cow
  • (Go) Hog Wild
  • (Have a) Kangaroo Loose In The Top Paddock
  • (His) Bark Is Worse Than His Bite
  • (Like) Herding Cats
  • (Like) Tits on a Bull, As Useless as Tits on a Bull
  • (On a) Fishing Expedition
  • (Open Up a) Can of Worms, A Whole New Can of Worms
  • (Play) Whack-a-Mole
  • (Someone’s) Goose Is Cooked
  • (Straight From the) Horse’s Mouth
  • (That’s the) Nature of the Beast
  • (The) Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back
  • (The) Tail That Wags the Dog
  • (The) Worm Has Turned
  • (There’s) More Than One Way to Skin A Cat
  • (To Be a) Fly on the Wall
  • (To Have a) Bee In One’s Bonnet
  • (To Have the) Bit Between One’s Teeth
  • (To Put the) Cat Among(st) the Pigeons
  • (To) Beat a Dead Horse
  • 800-Pound Gorilla
  • A busy bee

Useful Animal Idioms in English | Image 1

Animal Idioms in English

  • A cat has nine lives
  • A cat in gloves catches no mice
  • A cat nap
  • A cold fish
  • A dog in the manger
  • A guinea pig
  • A home bird
  • A lame duck
  • A Little Bird Told Me
  • A lone wolf
  • A rare bird
  • A scaredy-cat
  • A sitting duck
  • Albatross Around One’s Neck
  • All Bark And No Bite
  • All Hat And No Cattle
  • Ants In Your Pants
  • As Poor as a Church Mouse
  • Back the Wrong Horse
  • Bark up the Wrong Tree
  • Bee in one’s bonnet
  • Bell the Cat
  • Big Fish
  • Birds of a Feather
  • Bird’s-Eye View
  • Bite the Hand That Feeds You
  • Black Sheep
  • Blow the Cobwebs Away (or Out of Something)
  • Bull in a China Shop
  • Buy a Pig in a Poke
  • Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place) Without Hitting A (Thing)
  • Cat Fight
  • Cat Got Your Tongue?
  • Cat on a hot tin roof
  • Cat-and-Mouse (adj.)
  • Cat’s Paw
  • Change Horses in Midstream
  • Chickens Come Home To Roost
  • Chomp (Champ) at the Bit
  • Clip Someone’s Wings
  • Cock and Bull Story
  • Cool cat
  • Crickets
  • Cry Wolf (verb)
  • Curiosity Killed The Cat
  • Dark Horse
  • Dead as the Dodo
  • Dog in the Manger
  • Dog-and-Pony Show
  • Dog-Eat-Dog
  • Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
  • Drain the Lizard
  • Eager beaver
  • Eagle-Eyed
  • Early Bird [noun or adjective]
  • Eat Crow
  • Elephant in the Room
  • Every Dog Has His (Its) Day
  • Every Man and His Dog
  • Fat Cat
  • Feather One’s Nest
  • Fight like cat and dog
  • Fish for Compliments
  • Fish Out of Water
  • Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking
  • Flew the Coop
  • Fox in the Henhouse (Chickenhouse)
  • Get One’s Ducks in a Row
  • Get Someone’s Goat
  • Go Belly Up
  • Go See a Man About a Dog
  • Go to the Dogs
  • Grab (Take) the Bull by the Horns
  • Guinea Pig
  • Has the cat got your tongue?
  • Have a Dog in the Hunt (Fight, Race)
  • He Would Put Legs Under A Chicken
  • Hive Mind
  • Hold Your Horses (generally excl.)
  • Jump the Shark
  • Kangaroo Court
  • Kill a Fly With an Elephant Gun
  • Kill the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg
  • Kill Two Birds with One Stone
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
  • Let the Cat Out of the Bag
  • Lick One’s Wounds
  • Like a Moth to a Flame
  • Like the cat that got the cream
  • Lion’s Den
  • Lion’s Share
  • Loaded for Bear
  • Loan Shark
  • Lock Horns
  • Look What the Cat Dragged In
  • Mad As A Box Of (Soapy) Frogs
  • Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear
  • My Dogs Are Barking
  • Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
  • No room to swing a cat
  • Not have a cat in hell’s chance
  • On a Lark
  • One-Trick Pony
  • Pecking Order
  • Play cat and mouse
  • Puppies and Rainbows
  • Puppy Dog Eyes
  • Put Lipstick on a Pig
  • Put Out Feelers
  • Put the Cart Before the Horse
  • Put the cat among the pigeons
  • Rain cats and dogs
  • Raise (Someone’s) Hackles
  • Red Herring
  • Screw The Pooch
  • Seize (Take) the Bull By the Horns
  • Sick as a Parrot
  • Sitting Duck
  • Smell a Rat
  • Something to Crow About
  • Stalking Horse
  • Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel
  • Swan Song
  • Swim with Sharks
  • Take a Gander
  • Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
  • The Cat Is Out of the Bag
  • The World Is Your Oyster
  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat
  • Til the Cows Come Home
  • To have butterflies in your stomach
  • Turn Turtle
  • Ugly Duckling
  • Until the Cows Come Home
  • What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander
  • When Pigs Fly
  • White Elephant
  • Who’s She, the Cat’s Mother?
  • Wild Goose Chase
  • You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make It Drink
  • You Can’t Make Fish of One and Fowl of the Other

Animal Idioms with Meaning and Examples

Learn list of animal idioms and sayings with meaning and example sentences.

Animal Idioms

(A) Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots

  • Meaning: People can’t successfully disguise or change their essential natures.
  • Example: Judith swears she’ll tell the truth from now on, but a leopard can’t change its spots.

(Don’t) Have a Cow

  • Meaning: To get upset, angry (usually used in the negative)
  • Example: Don’t have a cow, man! I was just making a suggestion.

(Go) Hog Wild

  • Meaning: Act in a completely uninhibited way
  • Example: I went hog wild at the coin show-I really bought more than I could afford.

(Have a) Kangaroo Loose In The Top Paddock

  • Meaning: Be slightly crazy
  • Example: Howard may seem as though he has a kangaroo loose in the top paddock, but he works well under pressure.

(His) Bark Is Worse Than His Bite

  • Meaning: Hostile in manner, but actually friendly
  • Example: Don’t worry about Ben. He’ll give you a hard time at first. But his bark is worse than his bite.

Useful Animal Idioms in English | Image 2

Animal Idioms

(Like) Tits on a Bull, As Useless as Tits on a Bull

  • Meaning: Completely useless
  • Example: I forgot to bring my power supply, and soon my computer was as useless as tits on a bull.

(On a) Fishing Expedition

  • Meaning: Looking for evidence without any solid suspicion of wrongdoing
  • Example: This court will not allow the prosecution to go on a fishing expedition. Please keep your questions specific and to the point.

(Open Up a) Can of Worms, A Whole New Can of Worms

  • Meaning: Create a new set of difficult problems
  • Example: We could cut employee wages, but that opens up a can of worms.

(Play) Whack-a-Mole

  • Meaning: (Confront) a situation in which when one problem is solved, another appears
  • Example: It’s been a game of whack-a-mole at work lately – when I deal with one project, another one is immediately dumped on my desk.

(Straight From the) Horse’s Mouth

  • Meaning: Heard directly from one of the people involved
  • Example: I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth: the boss is giving us all raises next month.

(That’s the) Nature of the Beast

  • Meaning: The essence of something; just the way something is
  • Example: Parenthood involves lots of responsibilities-that’s the nature of the beast.

(The) Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

  • Meaning: A single small thing that exceeds a limit of patience
  • Example: I’ve put up with Eduardo for a long time, but when he criticized the color of my car, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

(The) Worm Has Turned

  • Meaning: The situation has been reversed.
  • Example: Barbara has always bossed everyone around, but today in the meeting Caitlin stood up to her. The worm has turned!

(To Be a) Fly on the Wall

  • Meaning: To be an unnoticed observer
  • Example: I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when Judy confronted her boyfriend about cheating.

(To Have a) Bee In One’s Bonnet

  • Meaning: To be excited in a negative way; to express a pet peeve
  • Example: Jill has a bee in her bonnet about the account reconciliation. I honestly think the way I did it is perfectly good.

(To Have the) Bit Between One’s Teeth

  • Meaning: In control of a situation
  • Example: The team seems to have the bit between their teeth. All the drills are paying off.

(To) Beat a Dead Horse

  • Meaning: To continue to argue about something that has been settled
  • Example: You’re beating a dead horse. We’ve already decided to stop in Dubai on our way home.

800-Pound Gorilla

  • Meaning: A person or group powerful enough to disregard the rules; a big, dominant person or group
  • Example: Toyota has been the 800-pound gorilla of Japanese auto manufacturing for many years, but they’ve run into trouble with safety devices.

Animal Idioms (A)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with A.

A busy bee

  • Meaning: A busy, active person who moves quickly from task to task.
  • Example: I enjoyed being a busy bee, getting things done,’ she said in her confident way.

A guinea pig

  • Meaning: Someone who is part of an experiment or trial
  • Example: Jane used her husband as a guinea pig to try her new baked chicken recipe.

A lame duck

  • Meaning: A person or enterprise (often a business) that is not a success and that has to be helped.
  • Example: The company started as a lame duck that was saved by an innovative entrepreneur who decided to take some risks and go in a new direction.

A lone wolf

  • Meaning: Someone who is not very social with other people
  • Example: Glen is a lone wolf and seldom joins in the activities of the neightbourhood.

A sitting duck

  • Meaning: A person or object in a vulnerable position that is easy to attack or injure.
  • Example: When my car broke down in a bad neighborhood, I felt like a sitting duck, just waiting to get robbed.

Albatross Around One’s Neck

  • Meaning: Something from one’s past that acts as a hindrance
  • Example: My drug arrest when I was a teenager has always been an albatross around my neck. When employers find out about it, my job application goes nowhere.

All Bark And No Bite

  • Meaning: Tending to make verbal threats but not deliver on them
  • Example: Don’t worry about Norm. He’s all bark and no bite. He won’t give you real trouble.

All Hat And No Cattle

  • Meaning: Pretentious, full of bluster
  • Example: He’s all hat and no cattle. If we put up a united front against him, he’ll crumble.

Ants In Your Pants

  • Meaning: Restlessness
  • Example: You’ve got ants in your pants! Calm down until I can finish this, and then we’ll go.

As Poor as a Church Mouse

  • Meaning: Very poor
  • Example: When we got married, we were both poor as a church mouse, and we had to live with my husband’s parents.

Animal Idioms (B)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with B.

Back the Wrong Horse

  • Meaning: To support the losing side
  • Example: I think we’re backing the wrong horse in supporting Jones for the job. The boss seems to have made up his mind to hire Sanchez.

Bark up the Wrong Tree

  • Meaning: Pursue a mistaken approach or belief; be wrong in a course of action
  • Example: The new accounting procedures had no impact on the financial loss we reported. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

Bee in one’s bonnet

  • Meaning: Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.
  • Example: Ever since the blizzard last year, dad has had a bee in his bonnet about moving to a warmer climate.

Bite the Hand That Feeds You

  • Meaning: Act badly toward someone who has helped you
  • Example: It was hard for me to criticize the boss after he’s helped me so much-I was biting the hand that feeds me. But he was wrong in this case.

Black Sheep

  • Meaning: A person who does not fit into a group, especially a family
  • Example: Bob is the black sheep of the family. We all like sports, but he’d rather read a book.

Blow the Cobwebs Away (or Out of Something)

  • Meaning: Make space for fresh ideas, encourage something new
  • Example: The composer wanted to blow the cobwebs away in the world of classical music and expose audiences to new ideas.

Bull in a China Shop

  • Meaning: A clumsy or tactless person
  • Example: Matthew is good-hearted, but in delicate situations he’s a bull in a china shop.

Buy a Pig in a Poke

  • Meaning: To buy something with no prior inspection
  • Example: There’s no way we should buy that factory without visiting it first-I never like to buy a pig in a poke.

Animal Idioms (C)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with C.

Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place) Without Hitting A (Thing)

  • Meaning: There are many examples of [thing] in this [place].
  • Example: You can’t swing a dead cat in Massachusetts without hitting a good pizzeria.

Useful Animal Idioms in English | Image 3

Animal Idioms

Change Horses in Midstream

  • Meaning: Change plans or leaders in the middle of a process
  • Example: We all wish Jack was leading the investigation, but since we’ve already started, it would be a mistake to change horses in midstream.

Chickens Come Home To Roost

  • Meaning: The negative consequences of previous actions reveal themselves
  • Example: We survived for awhile because stocks were increasing in price, but now the chickens have come home to roost: our lack of basic research is hurting us.

Chomp (Champ) at the Bit

  • Meaning: Be eager to do something
  • Example: Can I give the project to Ellen? She says she’s chomping at the bit.

Clip Someone’s Wings

  • Meaning: Reduce someone’s privileges or freedom
  • Example: I’ve noticed my son has been driving recklessly. I think it’s time to clip his wings and take away his car keys.

Cock and Bull Story

  • Meaning: A far-fetched story, probably untrue
  • Example: Do you expect me to believe that cock-and-bull story? You’re lying to protect your sister.

Crickets

  • Meaning: Silence
  • Example: What happened when I asked for comments? Crickets. So I assume you’re all satisfied with the proposal.

Cry Wolf (verb)

  • Meaning: To issue a false alarm, to ask for help when none is needed
  • Example: She says someone is following her, but sometimes she’ll cry wolf to get attention.

Animal Idioms (D)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with D.

Dark Horse

  • Meaning: A surprise candidate or competitor, especially one who comes from behind to make a strong showing
  • Example: With two candidates attacking each other in advertising, a dark horse with a cleaner image has come from behind and surged past both of them.

Dead as the Dodo

  • Meaning: Completely extinct; totally gone
  • Example: Videotape is dead as the dodo; video recording devices are all digital now.

Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

  • Meaning: Do not question the value of a gift. The expression comes from the practice of determining the age and health of a horse by looking at its teeth.
  • Example: It was nice of him to give you the ring. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Drain the Lizard

  • Meaning: Urinate
  • Example: Justin Bieber got a lot of bad publicity for draining the lizard in public.

Animal Idioms (E)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with E.

Eager beaver

  • Meaning: The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.
  • Example: Give that big project to the new girl, she’s a real eager beaver.

Eagle-Eyed

  • Meaning: Having sharp vision
  • Example: My eagle-eyed sister spotted the car in the parking lot before anyone else did.

Eat Crow

  • Meaning: To admit one was wrong, and accept humiliation
  • Example: I am ready to eat crow. My prediction about the game was completely wrong.

Elephant in the Room

  • Meaning: A major problem that no one is talking about
  • Example: We’re coming up with all these great ideas and pretending we can execute them, but funding is the elephant in the room. We haven’t dealt with that at all.

Animal Idioms (F)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with F.

Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking

  • Meaning: Very busy
  • Example: I’ll be flat out like a lizard drinking for my first few weeks on the job.

Flew the Coop

  • Meaning: Left, escaped
  • Example: You’d better pay him more, or one day you’ll come to the office and find that he flew the coop.

Fox in the Henhouse (Chickenhouse)

  • Meaning: Someone who causes trouble
  • Example: The boss’s son is a fox in the henhouse. He does no actual work, and all he does is stir up problems.

Animal Idioms (G)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with G.

Get One’s Ducks in a Row

  • Meaning: Have everything organized; get oneself organized
  • Example: Sorry about all the emails. I’m just trying to get my ducks in a row before I go on vacation.

Get Someone’s Goat

  • Meaning: To irritate someone deeply
  • Example: The way George takes credit for others’ work really gets my goat.

Go Belly Up

  • Meaning: To go bankrupt
  • Example: I’m afraid that if we don’t reduce staff, we’ll go belly up within a year.

Useful Idioms about Animals in English | Image 4

List of Idioms about Animals in English

Grab (Take) the Bull by the Horns

  • Meaning: To begin forthrightly to deal with a problem
  • Example: We’re worried about the production problems, but our vice-president is taking the bull by the horns and is going to visit the factory tomorrow.

Guinea Pig

  • Meaning: A test subject, a person who is used as a test to see if something will work
  • Example: I’m going to be the guinea pig for the new payroll system at work. I hope my check comes through all right!

Animal Idioms (H)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with H.

He Would Put Legs Under A Chicken

  • Meaning: He will talk your head off; he is very talkative
  • Example: Get ready to do a lot of listening if you go out to lunch with Karl – he would put legs under a chicken.

Hive Mind

  • Meaning: The knowledge of humans as a group
  • Example: OK, hive mind. I have to replace the serpentine belt on my Toyota. What is the quickest way to finish the job?

Hold Your Horses (generally excl.)

  • Meaning: Stop; restrain yourself; don’t be so excited
  • Example: Hold your horses. We can’t even be sure we’re getting a raise. You shouldn’t start planning an expensive vacation.

Animal Idioms (J,K)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with J & K.

Jump the Shark

  • Meaning: To pass peak quality and begin to decline. Often used to describe television programs or movie series.
  • Example: Many people believe that the”Seinfeld” television series jumped the shark after its fifth season, but it hung on for several more.

Kangaroo Court

  • Meaning: A court of law where proper procedures are not followed at all; a sham judicial proceeding
  • Example: After a trial in a kangaroo court, where he was not even allowed access to a lawyer, the journalist was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Kill a Fly With an Elephant Gun

  • Meaning: Approach a problem with excessive measures
  • Example: Doctors often prescribe antibiotics even for minor ailments. They’re trying to kill a fly with an elephant gun.

Animal Idioms (L)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with L.

Lick One’s Wounds

  • Meaning: Rest after a bad defeat
  • Example: Federer will take three weeks off to lick his wounds after losing to Nadal.

Like a Moth to a Flame

  • Meaning: Drawn to something or someone despite the dangers
  • Example: Sharon is drawn to bad boys like a moth to a flame.

Like the cat that got the cream

  • Meaning: Looking particularly self-satisfied, often to the annoyance of others
    Example: After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that got the cream.

Lion’s Den

  • Meaning: Any dangerous or frightening place.
  • Example: Oh, so you’re going to the Old City? That’s a lion’s den down there-be careful.

Lion’s Share

  • Meaning: The largest part of something
  • Example: If this project does well, I’ll get the lion’s share of the credit. But if it doesn’t, I’ll get the lion’s share of the blame.

Loaded for Bear

  • Meaning: Prepared for problems, well prepared for a challenge
  • Example: I know the professor is going to argue with my position. But don’t worry – I’m loaded for bear.

Loan Shark

  • Meaning: A predatory lender; one who makes high-interest loans to desperate people
  • Example: Avoid loan sharks. It’s better to save up money and deal with a reputable bank. They’ll charge you a lower interest rate.

Lock Horns

  • Meaning: To lock horns is to argue, to come into conflict.
  • Example: Two members of Parliament locked horns over funding for their respective districts.

Animal Idioms (M,N)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with M & N.

Mad As A Box Of (Soapy) Frogs

  • Meaning: Extremely mentally unstable; psychotic; detached from reality.
  • Example: Joe thinks the company could fail, but I’d say he’s mad as a box of frogs.

Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear

  • Meaning: Turn something ordinary or inferior into something refined and beautiful
  • Example: Yes, John is an excellent editor. But you wrote the article, and you deserve the credit. He can’t turn a silk purse into a sow’s ear.

Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

  • Meaning: It’s rude to examine a gift closely; accept gifts politely.
  • Example: Your dad gave you the car, so don’t criticize it. Never look a gift horse in the mouth!

Animal Idioms (O)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with O.

On a Lark

  • Meaning: Spontaneously, on a whim, for fun
  • Example: On a lark, we decided to go to the seacoast for the weekend.

One-Trick Pony

  • Meaning: Someone who has only a single talent
  • Example: Carl is talented at estimating costs, but he’s a one-trick pony – give him a marketing project, and he doesn’t know what to do.

Animal Idioms (P)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with P.

Pecking Order

  • Meaning: Hierarchy, rank of importance
  • Example: Courtney is below Suzanne in the pecking order, so if you need something done it’s better to ask Suzanne.

Play cat and mouse

  • Meaning: Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.
  • Example: The 32-year-old singer spent a large proportion of the week playing cat and mouse with the press.

Puppies and Rainbows

  • Meaning: Perfect, ideal (usually used slightly sarcastically, in contrast with a less ideal situation)
  • Example: At first my marriage was all puppies and rainbows, but then reality set in.

Put Lipstick on a Pig

  • Meaning: Make cosmetic changes to something bad
  • Example: Yes, the tax cut will help a few people, but the economic program is still very harmful. They’re just putting lipstick on a pig.

Put Out Feelers

  • Meaning: Make discreet, informal suggestions, ask around
  • Example: I’ve put out feelers among the graduating class to find a new programmer, but I haven’t had any luck. I think we need to place an ad.

Put the Cart Before the Horse

  • Meaning: To do things in the wrong order
  • Example: You haven’t even been accepted to the university, and you’re already picking out classes? That’s putting the cart before the horse.

Put the cat among the pigeons

  • Meaning: Say or do something that causes trouble or controversy
  • Example: We didn’t want to put the cat among the pigeons, so we decided not to mention the bomb threat until we knew for certain that it was legitimate.

Animal Idioms (R)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with R.

Raise (Someone’s) Hackles

  • Meaning: Make someone angry and defensive
  • Example: It really raises my hackles when David talks about the university like that. I went there, and I got a good education there.

Red Herring

  • Meaning: A misleading clue; something intended to mislead
  • Example: In the mystery story, the emphasis on the red van parked outside the house turned out to be a red herring.

Animal Idioms (S)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with S.

Screw The Pooch

  • Meaning: To make a serious error
  • Example: I’m reluctant to assign Jose another sales presentation after he screwed the pooch the last time.

Seize (Take) the Bull By the Horns

  • Meaning: Attack a problem directly
  • Example: There’s no sense in waiting for another report – we need to seize the bull by the horns and deal with the product recall.

Sick as a Parrot

  • Meaning: Very disappointed
  • Example: I was sick as a parrot after Man United lost last night.

Sitting Duck

  • Meaning: Something or someone easily attacked or criticized
  • Example: Considering the weakness of our offensive line this year, our quarterback is often a sitting duck.

Smell a Rat

  • Meaning: Suspect deception
  • Example: My cousin wants to sell me an almost new car for $6,000. It looks great, but I smell a rat-he was in the flood zone last month.

Something to Crow About

  • Meaning: Something to be proud of, an accomplishment about which one is justified in bragging
  • Example: You took first place in the writing contest. That’s something to crow about!

Stalking Horse

  • Meaning: Someone who tests a concept in advance of its application; a candidate who enters a political race in order to test the strength of the incumbent
  • Example: Maybe we can use Jones as a stalking horse to see whether the mayor is vulnerable.

Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel

  • Meaning: To make a fuss over something unimportant while ignoring larger issues
  • Example: Amber wastes time in meetings over the most insignificant things-she has no sense of priorities. She’ll strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

Swan Song

  • Meaning: A final appearance
  • Example: This game will be the quarterback’s swan song-he’s retiring after this season.

Swim with Sharks

  • Meaning: To take a major risk
  • Example: If you want to reach the island with the treasure, you’ve got to swim with sharks for a while.

Animal Idioms (T)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with T.

Take a Gander

  • Meaning: Go to take a look at something
  • Example: It may be very crowded in there. I’ll go and take a gander, and then I’ll send you a text message.

The World Is Your Oyster

  • Meaning: You have many opportunities and choices.
  • Example: You’re only 22-the world is your oyster. Don’t feel you have to get married now.

Til the Cows Come Home

  • Meaning: For a very long time
  • Example: I only see Vicki once a year, so when we get together we can talk ‘til the cows come home.

To have butterflies in your stomach

  • Meaning: To be nervous
  • Example: I almost didn’t go on stage and perform tonight because I had butterflies in my stomach.

Turn Turtle

  • Meaning: Capsize, turn over
  • Example: The boat turned turtle in the waves, but it was designed to right itself again, and it did.

Animal Idioms (U)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with U.

Ugly Duckling

  • Meaning: An awkward child or young person who grows into a beautiful person
  • Example: Sarah was such an ugly duckling at the start. Now she’s a beautiful dancer.

Until the Cows Come Home

  • Meaning: For a long time
  • Example: If you wait for Jeb to finish his part of the project, you’ll be waiting till the cows come home.

Animal Idioms (W)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with W.

What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander

  • Meaning: What’s OK for a man is OK for a woman, too
  • Example: My boyfriend complains when I go out, but then I found out he went out with his friends every night this week. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

When Pigs Fly

  • Meaning: Never
  • Example: Sure, I’ll go out with Cynthia again. When pigs fly.

White Elephant

  • Meaning: An unwanted item that is difficult to sell or dispose of
  • Example: We wanted to sell our old office building after we moved out, but it’s turned into a white elephant.

Wild Goose Chase

  • Meaning: An impossible or futile search or task
  • Example: I think this is a wild goose chase. This library doesn’t have the books we need.

Animal Idioms (Y)

List of animal idioms and sayings that start with Y.

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make It Drink

  • Meaning: It’s very hard to force someone to do something against his or her will.
  • Example: I know it would be good for my son to go to the state university, but he doesn’t want to go. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

You Can’t Make Fish of One and Fowl of the Other

  • Meaning: People must be treated equally.
  • Example: The contract calls for new hires to be paid less permanently. But why make fish of one and fowl of the other?

Animal Idioms | Pictures

Cat Idioms List and Picture

List of cat idioms with picture.

  • Bell the Cat
  • Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place) Without Hitting A (Thing)
  • Cat Fight
  • Cat Got Your Tongue?
  • Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
  • Cat-and-Mouse (adj.)
  • Cat’s Paw
  • Cool Cat
  • Curiosity Killed The Cat
  • Fat Cat
  • Let the Cat Out of the Bag
  • Like The Cat That Got The Cream
  • Look What the Cat Dragged In
  • No Room To Swing A Cat
  • Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat
  • Play Cat And Mouse
  • Put The Cat Among The Pigeons
  • The Cat Is Out of the Bag
  • There’s More Than One Way To Skin A Cat
  • Not Have A Cat In Hell’s Chance
  • Who’s She, the Cat’s Mother?

Cat animal idioms – Image

Animal Idioms: 165 Useful Animal Idioms from A-Z 2

 

Dog Idioms with Picture

List of dog idioms in English with picture.

  • Dog in the Manger
  • Dog-and-Pony Show
  • Dog-Eat-Dog
  • Every Dog Has His (Its) Day
  • Every Man and His Dog
  • Fight Like Cat and Dog
  • Go See a Man About a Dog
  • Go to the Dogs
  • Have a Dog in the Hunt (Fight, Race)
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
  • Puppies and Rainbows
  • Puppy Dog Eyes
  • My Dogs Are Barking
  • Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Dog animal idioms – Image

Dog Idioms with Picture

Fish Idioms with Picture

List of fish idioms in English with picture.

  • A Cold Fish
  • Big Fish
  • Fish Out of Water
  • Make Fish of One and Fowl of the Other
  • Different Kettle of Fish
  • All Is Fish That Comes To His Net
  • Better Fish To Fry
  • Big Fish In A Small Pond
  • Cry Stinking Fish (UK)
  • Drink Like A Fish
  • Fish For A Compliment
  • Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel
  • Neither Fish Nor Fowl

Fish animal idioms – Image

Fish Idioms with Picture

Bird Idioms | Animal Idioms

  • A Home Bird
  • A Rare Bird
  • A Little Bird Told Me
  • Birds of A Feather
  • Bird’s-Eye View
  • Early Bird
  • Kill Two Birds with One Stone
  • Night Owl
  • A Lame Duck
  • A Sitting Duck
  • Get One’s Ducks in a Row
  • Sitting Duck
  • Ugly Duckling
  • Swan Song
  • Eager Beaver
  • Eagle-Eyed

Animal Idioms with Meaning | Images

Animal Idioms: Idioms about Animals in English – Image 1

Animal Idioms: Idioms about Animals in English - Image 1

Animal Idioms: Idioms about Animals in English – Image 2

Animal Idioms: Idioms about Animals in English - Image 2

85 Amazing Animal Idioms in English.

One Response

  1. Dimitar Gavrailov August 12, 2018

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend