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English Idioms That Mention Animals

English For Israel English Idioms That Mention Animals

The English language is rich with fun idioms that mention animals. 

Curiosity killed the cat means being too inquisitive can lead to trouble. I wouldn't ask too many questions if I were you, remember, curiosity killed the cat.

Let the cat out of the bag means to reveal a secret. I wasn't supposed to tell anyone, but I accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.

Horse of a different color means something entirely different. I thought we were talking about a salary increase, but the boss brought up a horse of a different color speaking about restructuring the entire department.

Birds of a feather flock together means people with similar interests or characteristics tend to associate with one another. It's no surprise they became best friends; birds of a feather flock together.

A fish out of water means someone who is uncomfortable or out of place in a particular situation. At the nudist colony, John felt like a fish out of water in his casual clothes.

Hold your horses means be patient; wait a moment. Hold your horses! I'll be ready to leave in just a minute.

Kill two birds with one stone means accomplish two tasks with a single action. By combining the meeting with a working lunch, she was able to kill two birds with one stone.

Straight from the horse's mouth means information that comes directly from the source. I heard it straight from the horse's mouth that the project is on schedule.

The early bird catches the worm means being prompt or early in doing something can be advantageous. I always arrive at work by 8 am; you know what they say, the early bird catches the worm.

Ants in your pants means unable to sit still due to nervousness or excitement. He had ants in his pants before his big interview.

Busy as a bee means extremely busy and active. My mom is always running around to serve her five children. She’s busy as a bee. 

Butterflies in your stomach means having a strong nervous or anxious feeling. My date is starting in an hour. I feel butterflies in my stomach.

Elephant in the room is a metaphorical expression that refers to a significant issue, problem, or topic that everyone is aware of but nobody wants to discuss or address. During the corporate strategy meeting, the declining sales figures were the elephant in the room that no one wanted to acknowledge, but it was essential to confront in order to devise a turnaround plan.

Fly on the wall is an idiomatic expression that describes an unnoticed observer, someone who is present in a situation without actively participating or being acknowledged. As a fly on the wall during the high-level executive meeting, I overheard discussions about upcoming mergers and strategic decisions that were not yet public knowledge.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush means that having something tangible and certain now is more valuable than the possibility of having something better in the future that is uncertain. I was offered a job with a decent salary, but I decided not to pursue it in hopes of finding a better-paying position later. Now I realize that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and I regret not taking the initial job offer.

and my favorite ...

A wolf in sheep's clothing is an idiom used to describe someone who outwardly appears harmless, kind, or gentle but is actually deceitful, dangerous, or malicious. Watch out for that new guy in the office who always acts so friendly and helpful. I have a feeling he might be a wolf in sheep's clothing.


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