Idiom Category: Animals, Page 7

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Spring chicken
Someone who's a spring chicken is very young, often inexperienced.
Stalking horse
A stalking horse is a strategy or something used to conceal your intentions.  It is often used where someone put themselves forwards as a candidate to divide opponents or to hide the real candidate.
Straw that broke the camel's back
The straw that broke the camel's back is the problem that made you lose your temper or the problem that finally brought about the collapse of something.
Strong as an ox
Someone who's exceedingly strong physically is said to be as strong as an ox.
Stubborn as a mule
Someone who will not listen to other people's advice and won't change their way of doing things is as stubborn as a mule.
Swansong
A person's swansong is their final achievement or public appearance.
Sweat like a pig
If someone is sweating like a pig, they are perspiring (sweating) a lot.
Swim with the fishes
If someone is swimming with the fishes, they are dead, especially if they have been murdered. 'Sleep with the fishes' is an alternative form.
Take the bull by its horns
Taking a bull by its horns would be the most direct but also the most dangerous way to try to compete with such an animal. When we use the phrase in everyday talk, we mean that the person we are talking about tackles their problems directly and is not worried about any risks involved.
Take up the reins
(UK) If you take up the reins, you assume control of something- an organisation, company, country, etc.('Take over the reins' is also used.)
Talk the hind legs off a donkey
A person who is excessively or extremely talkative can talk the hind legs off a donkey.
Talk turkey
When people talk turkey, they discuss something frankly.
Tell them where the dog died
(USA) If you tell them where the dog died, you strongly and sharply correct someone.
The cat's meow
If something is the cat's meow, it's excellent.
Their bark is worse than their bite
If someone's bark is worse than their bite, they get angry and shout and make threats, but don't actually do anything.
There are many ways to skin a cat
This is an expression meaning there are many different ways of doing the same thing.
There's a dead cat on the line
This used as a way of telling people that something suspicious is happening.
Thousand pound gorilla in the room
A thousand pound gorilla in the room is an idiom which can be used to say something is the biggest problem in the relationship between two or more persons or countries.
Throw a monkey wrench into the works
(USA) If you throw a monkey wrench into the works, you ensure that something fails.
Throw pearls to the pigs
Someone that throws pearls to pigs is giving someone else something they don't deserve or appreciate. ('Throw pearls before pigs' and 'Cast pearls before swine' are also used.)
Throw someone to the wolves
If someone is thrown to the wolves, they are abandoned and have to face trouble without any support.
Till the cows come home
This idioms means 'for a very long time'. ('Until the cows come home' is also used.)
To be dog cheap
If something's dog cheap, it is very cheap indeed.
Top dog
The most important or influential person is the top dog.
Turn turtle
If something turns turtle, it turns upside down.
Two heads are better than one
When two people work together more things get accomplished.
Ugly duckling
An ugly duckling is a child who shows little promise, but who develops later into a real talent or beauty.
Until the last dog is shot
(USA) It means until the very last possible moment or until every possibility is exausted: You boys always stay until the last dog is shotI will stay until the last dog is shot to complete this project by deadline (Expression my mom who was born in 1917 in Wisconson always used.)  
Up with the lark
If you get up very early, you're up with the lark.
Vultures are circling
If the vultures are circling, then something is in danger and its enemies are getting ready for the kill.
Wag the dog
To 'wag the dog' means to purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance. By doing so, the lesser-significant event is catapulted into the limelight, drowning proper attention to what was originally the more important issue.The expression comes from the saying that 'a dog is smarter than its tail', but if the tail were smarter, then the tail would 'wag the dog'. The expression 'wag the dog' was elaborately used as theme of the movie. 'Wag the Dog', a 1997 film starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman, produced and directed by Barry Levinson.
Water off a duck's back
If criticism or something similar is like water off a duck's back to somebody, they aren't affected by it in the slightest.
Whale of a time
If you have a whale of a time, you really enjoy yourself.
What can you expect from a hog but a grunt?
(USA) This means that you can't expect people to behave in a way that is not in their character- a 'hog' is a 'pig', so an unrefined person can't be expected to behave in a refined way.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander
This idiom means that the sexes should be treated the same way and not be subjected to different standards.
When pigs fly
Meaning you will not get something when you want it or someone doesn't want something for you. say you are selling an item and some one doesn't want it. they might say 'I'll buy it when pigs fly'. it just means you will never get someone to say yes to you when you ask for something.
When the chickens come home to roost
When a person pays dearly for something bad he or she did in the past, the chickens come home to roost.
Which came first the chicken or the egg?
This idiomatic expression is used when it is not clear who or what caused something.
While the cat's away, the mouse will play
People whose behaviour is strictly controlled go over the top when the authority is not around, which is why most teenagers have parties when their parents have gone on holiday. The parents are the scary authority figures, but the cat's away and the kids are the mice partying and enjoying their freedom.
White elephant
A white elephant is an expensive burden; something that costs far too much money to run, like the Millennium Dome in the UK.
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free
This idiom is usually used to refer to men who don't want to get married, when they can get all the benefits of marriage without getting married.
Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
There's no need to do something yourself when you have somebody to do it for you, usually trivial matters.
Wild goose chase
A wild goose chase is a waste of time- time spent trying to do something unsuccessfully.
Wildcat
A wildcat scheme is rash - financially or ethically - and will probably fail.
Wilder than a peach orchard boar
(USA) A person who is out of control or running wild.
Within a whisker
If you come within a whisker of doing something, you very nearly manage to do it but  don't succeed.
Wolf in sheep's clothing
A wolf in sheep's clothing is something dangerous that looks quite safe and innocent.
Work like a dog
If you work like a dog, you work very hard.
World is your oyster
When the world is your oyster, you are getting everything you want from life.
Worm information
If you worm information out of somebody, you persuade them to tell you something they wanted to keep from you.

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