Idiom Category: Animals, Page 1

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800 pound gorilla
The 800-pound gorilla is the dominant force in an industry (the classic example is Microsoft in the computer industry.)
A little bird told me
If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from, they can say that a little bird told them.
Albatross around your neck
An albatross around, or round, your neck is a problem resulting from something you did that stops you from being successful.
All bark and no bite
When someone talks tough but really isn't, they are all bark and no bite.
Angry as a bear
If someone is as angry as a bear, they are very angry.('Angry as a bear with a sore foot' is also used.)
Angry as a bull
If someone is as angry as a bull, they are very angry.
Ants in your pants
If someone has ants in their pants, they are agitated or excited about something and can't keep still.
As mad as a wrongly shot hog
(USA) If someone is as mad as a wrongly shot hog, they are very angry. (Same as, Angry as a bear or Angry as a bull).
As rare as hen's teeth
(USA) Something that is rare as hen's teeth is very rare or non-existent.
As the crow flies
This idiom is used to describe the shortest possible distance between two places.
At a snail's pace
If something moves at a snail's pace, it moves very slowly.
Back the wrong horse
If you back the wrong horse, you give your support to the losing side in something.
Bats in the belfry
Someone with bats in the belfry is crazy or eccentric.
Be on the pig's back
If you're on the pig's back, you're happy / content / in fine form.
Bear market
A bear market is a period when investors are pessimistic and expect financial losses so are more likely to sell than to buy shares.
Beard the lion in his own den
If you confront a powerful or dangerous rival on their territory, you are bearding the lion in his own den.
Beating a dead horse
(USA) If someone is trying to convince people to do or feel something without any hope of succeeding, they're beating a dead horse. This is used when someone is trying to raise interest in an issue that no-one supports anymore; beating a dead horse will not make it do any more work.
Bee in your bonnet
If someone is very excited about something, they have a bee in their bonnet.
Bee's Knees
If something is the bee's knees, it's outstanding or the best in its class.
Beeline for
If you make a beeline for a place, you head there directly.
Bell the cat
To bell the cat is to perform a difficult or impossible task.
Bend someone's ear
To bend someone's ear is to talk to someone about something for a long-enough period that it becomes tiresome for the listener.
Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion
This means that it is better to be the head or at the top of something that isn't very important or prestigious than a small or unimportant member of something big.
Between you and me and the cat's whiskers
This idiom is used when telling someone something that you want them to keep secret.
Big fish
An important person in a company or an organisation is a big fish.
Big fish in a small pond
A big fish in a small pond is an important person in a small place or organisation.
Bigger fish to fry
If you aren't interested in something because it isn't important to you and there are more important things for you to do, you have bigger fish to fry.
Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is a proverb meaning that it is better to have something that is certain than take a risk to get more, where you might lose everything.
Bird's eye view
If you have a bird's eye view of something, you can see it perfectly clearly.
Bird-brain
Someone who has a bird-brain, or is bird-brained, is stupid.
Bird-dog
(USA) If you bird-dog, you follow someone or something very closely, monitoring them.
Birds and the bees
If a child is taught about the birds and the bees, they are taught about sex.
Birds of a feather flock together
This idiom means that people with similar interests will stick together.
Blind as a bat
If you are in total darkness and can't see anything at all, you are as blind as a bat.
Brass monkey
If it's brass monkey weather, or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it is extremely cold.
Break the back of the beast
If you break the back of the beast, you accomplish a challenge.
Bull in a China shop
If someone behaves like a bull in a China shop, they are clumsy when they should be careful.
Bull market
A bull market is a period when investors are optimistic and there are expectations that good financial results will continue.
Bull session
If you have a bull session, you have an informal group discussion about something.
Bull-headed
If you're a bull-headed, you're stubborn or inflexible.
Busy as a beaver
If you're as busy as a beaver, you're very busy indeed.
Busy as a bee
If you are as busy as a bee, you are very busy indeed.
Butterflies in your stomach
The nervous feeling before something important or stressful is known as butterflies in your stomach.
By a whisker
If you do something by a whisker, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
Calf lick
A calf lick is the weird parting in your fringe where your hair grows in a different direction, usually to one side.
Call the dogs off
If someone calls off their dogs, they stop attacking or criticising someone.
Can of worms
If an action can create serious problems, it is opening a can of worms.
Canary in a coal mine
(UK) A canary in a coal mine is an early warning of danger.
Cast pearls before swine
If you cast pearls before swine, you offer something of value to someone who doesn't appreciate it- 'swine' are 'pigs'.
Cast sheep's eyes at
If you cast sheep's eyes at at someone, you look lovingly or with longing at them.

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