20+ Useful Animals Phrasal Verbs in English

As native English speakers, we often use animal-related phrasal verbs without even realizing it. These expressions can add color and humor to our conversations, making them more engaging and fun. In this article, we will explore some of the most common animal phrasal verbs in English and how to use them correctly.

List of Animal Phrasal Verbs in English.

  • Chicken out
  • Duck out
  • Fish for
  • Fish out
  • Horse around
  • Leech off
  • Pig out
  • Wolf down
  • Monkey around
  • Beaver away
  • Ferret out
  • Worm out of
  • Rat on
  • Rabbit on (UK)
  • Monkey with
  • Turn turtle
  • Squirrel away
  • Drone on
  • Clam up
  • Ferret around
  • Lark about/around (UK)

Useful Animals Phrasal Verbs in English 

Useful Animals Phrasal Verbs | ImagesPin

Animals Phrasal Verbs with Meaning and Examples

Chicken out

  • Meaning: To not do something because of fear or lack of courage.
  • Example: We were going to go bungee jumping, but my friend chickened out at the last minute.

Duck out

  • Meaning: To leave quickly or sneakily.
  • Example: I didn’t want to talk to my ex, so I ducked out of the party early.

Fish for

  • Meaning: To try to get information or something from someone in a subtle way.
  • Example:  I could tell my boss was fishing for compliments on her new haircut.

Fish out

  • Meaning: To find or retrieve something from a place or situation.
  • Example: I had to fish out my phone from the bottom of the pool after it fell in.

Horse around

  • Meaning: To play or fool around in a silly or rough way.
  • Example: The kids were horsing around in the backyard and ended up breaking a window.

Leech off

  • Meaning: To take advantage of someone else’s resources without giving anything in return.
  • Example: My roommate was leeching off my Netflix account without contributing to the subscription cost.

Pig out

  • Meaning: To eat a large amount of food in a short period of time.
  • Example: After the marathon, we all pigged out on pizza and ice cream.

Wolf down

  • Meaning: To eat something quickly and without much thought or enjoyment.
  • Example: I was in a rush, so I had to wolf down my breakfast before heading to work.

Monkey around

  • Meaning: To do things in an unserious way; to play or waste time
  • Example: We just monkeyed around all afternoon.

Beaver away

  • Meaning: To work hard and diligently on a task.
  • Example: I had to beaver away at my thesis for weeks before I finally finished it.

Ferret out

  • Meaning: To find or uncover something by searching thoroughly.
  • Example: The detective was able to ferret out the truth about the crime by interviewing witnesses.

Worm out of

  • Meaning: Draw or manipulate information out of someone
  • Example: I eventually managed to worm a few details out of her.

Rat on

  • Meaning: To betray or inform on someone to authorities.
  • ExampleI can’t believe my best friend ratted on me to the teacher about cheating on the test.

Rabbit on (UK)

  • Meaning: To talk for a long time about something unimportant or boring.
  • Example: The lecturer was rabbiting on about the history of paperclips for what seemed like hours.

Monkey with

  • Meaning:  To interfere with or tamper with something.
  • Example: I told my little sister not to monkey with the thermostat, but she did anyway and now the house is freezing.

Turn turtle

  • Meaning: To overturn or capsize.
  • Example: The boat turned turtle in the middle of the lake, and we all had to swim to shore.

Squirrel away

  • Meaning: To save or store something for later.
  • Example: I like to squirrel away my extra cash in a savings account for emergencies.

Drone on

  • Meaning: To speak in a monotonous or boring way.
  • Example: During the lecture, the professor droned on and on about statistics.

Clam up

  • Meaning:  To suddenly become quiet or to stop talking, to remain silent or to refuse to speak further about a particular subject or situation.
  • Example: She just clams up if you ask her about his family.

Ferret around

  • Meaning: To search or rummage around for something.
  • Example:  I had to ferret around in my closet to find my winter coat before going outside.

Lark about/around (UK)

  • Meaning: To behave in a carefree or playful way.
  • Example: The group of friends were larking around on the beach, playing frisbee and building sandcastles.

Practice and Exercises

Fill in the blank

  1. He always ___________ when it’s time to do something difficult.
  2. I need to ___________ some information from my coworker.
  3. The kids like to ___________ and play games in the park.
  4. I can’t believe he ___________ on his friends like that.
  5. She’s always ___________ about her problems and never listens to anyone else.

Match the Verbs

Phrasal Verb Meaning
a. Worm out of 1. To talk excessively or ramble on about something
b. Rat on 2. To betray or inform on someone
c. Rabbit on (UK) 3. To tamper or interfere with something
d. Monkey with 4. To overturn or capsize
e. Turn turtle 5. To avoid doing something by making excuses or finding a way out

Useful Animals Phrasal Verbs in English | Images

Animals Phrasal VerbsPin

Related phrasal verbs list:

Animals Phrasal Verbs | Video

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4 thoughts on “20+ Useful Animals Phrasal Verbs in English”

  1. I would like to add some more:
    worm out
    rat on
    rabbit on
    worm your way in
    lark about/around
    drone on
    clam up
    monkey with
    squirrel away
    ferret about/around

    these are a horse of a different color, but somehow worth mentioning
    eat crow
    egg on
    beef up
    turn turtle
    claw back
    nest egg
    to parrot
    to ape


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