Idiom Category: Animals, Page 6

Categories > Animals
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Paper tiger
A paper tiger is a person, country, institution, etc, that looks powerful, but is actually weak.
Parrot fashion
If you learn something parrot fashion, you learn it word for word. A parrot is a bird from South America that can talk.
Pecking order
The pecking order is the order of importance or rank.
Pet peeve
A pet peeve is something that irritates an individual greatly.
Pick of the litter
The best person or item in a group is the pick of the litter.
Pig in a poke
If someone buys a pig in a poke, they buy something without checking the condition it was in, usually finding out later that it was defective.
Pig in clover
Someone who is very happy and pleased is as happy as a pig in clover.
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered
(USA) This idiom is used to express being satisfied with enough, that being greedy or too ambitious will be your ruin.
Pigs might fly
If you think something will never happen or succeed, you can say that 'pigs might fly' (or 'pigs can fly' and 'pigs will fly'- the idiom is used in many forms)
Play possum
To pretend to be dead or sleeping. His younger sister jumped on him because she knew he was just playing possum.
Proud as a peacock
Someone who is as proud as a peacock is excessively proud.
Pull a rabbit out of your hat
If you pull a rabbit out of a hat, you do something that no one was expecting.
Pup's chance
A pup's chance is no chance.
Puppy love
Puppy love is love between two very young people.
Put lipstick on a pig
If people put lipstick on a pig, they make superficial or cosmetic changes, hoping that it will make the product more attractive.
Putting the cart before the horse
When you put the cart before the horse, you are doing something the wrong way round.
Queen bee
The queen bee is a woman who holds the most important position in a place.
Queer fish
(UK) A strange person is a queer fish.
Quiet as a cat
If somebody is as quiet as a cat they make as little noise as possible and try to be unnoticeable.
Quiet as a mouse
If someone's as quiet as a mouse, they make absolutely no noise.
Raining cats and dogs
When it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining very heavily.
Rat race
The rat race is the ruthless, competitive struggle for success in work, etc.
Red herring
If something is a distraction from the real issues, it is a red herring.
Rode hard and put away wet
(USA) Someone who's been rode hard and put away wet has had a very hard life. When a horse is ridden hard and sweaty, it needs to be walked and cooled down before being stabled.
Root hog or die poor
(USA) It's a expression used in the Southern USA that means that you must look out for yourself as no one's going to do it for you.  (It can be shortened to 'root hog'.  A hog is a pig.)
Sacred cow
Something that is a sacred cow is held in such respect that it cannot be criticised or attacked.
Salty dog
A salty dog is an experienced sailor.
Scarce as hen's teeth
Hens do not have any teeth, so something that is as scarce as hen's teeth is extremely rare.("Rare as hen's teeth" is also used.)
See which way the cat jumps
(AU) If you see which way the cat jumps, you postpone making a decision or acting until you have seen how things are developing.
Separate the sheep from the goats
If you separate the sheep from the goats, you sort out the good from the bad.
Shaggy dog story
A shaggy dog story is a joke which is a long story with a silly end.
Shanks's pony
(UK) If you go somewhere by Shanks's pony, you walk there.
Sharks are circling
If the sharks are circling, then something is in danger and its enemies are getting ready for the kill.
Shooting fish in a barrel
If something is like shooting fish in a barrel, it is so easy that success is guaranteed.
Short horse soon curried
A convenient and superficial explanation that is normally unconvincing is a short horse soon curried.
Sick as a dog
If somebody's as sick as a dog, they throw up (=vomit) violently.
Sick as a parrot
If someone's sick as a parrot about something, they are unhappy, disappointed or depressed about it.
Sing like a canary
If someone sings like a canary, they tell everything they know about a crime or wrongdoing to the police or authorities.
Sitting duck
A sitting duck is something or someone that is easy to criticise or target.
Sleep well- don't let the bedbugs bite
This is a way of wishing someone a good night's sleep.
Slowly, slowly catchy monkey
This means that eventually you will achieve your goal.
Sly as a fox
Someone who is as sly as a fox is cunning and experienced and can get what they want, often in an underhand way.
Small dog, tall weeds
This idiom is used to describe someone the speaker does not believe has the ability or resources to handle a task or job.
Small fry
If someone is small fry, they are unimportant. The term is often used when the police arrest the less important criminals, but are unable to catch the leaders and masterminds.
Smell a rat
If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you.
Snake in the grass
Someone who is a snake in the grass betrays you even though you have trusted them.
Snake oil
Advice or medicine which is of no use.
Snake oil salesperson
A person who promotes something that doesn't work, is selling snake oil.
Snipe hunt
A snipe hunt is a situation in which someone is tricked into chasing after something that does not exist. The origin comes from a hazing ritual in which someone would be led into the field to catch snipe (an imaginary animal) in a sack while the other hunters pushed the snipe in that direction. The other hunters would in reality leave the hunter there and go on their way.
Snug as a bug in a rug
If you're as snug as a bug in a rug, you are feeling very comfortable indeed.

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