Idiom Category: Animals, Page 8

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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.
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.
Worm turns
When the worm turns, people stop accepting a bad situation and become hostile.
Worm's eye view
A worm's eye view of something is the view from below, either physically or socially.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
This means that it is easier to persuade people if you use polite arguments and flattery than if you are confrontational.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink
This idiom means you can offer something to someone, like good advice, but you cannot make them take it.
You can't hide elephants in mouseholes
You can't hide elephants in mouseholes means that some issues/problems/challenges cannot be hidden/concealed but have to be faced and dealt with.
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
If something isn't very good to start with, you can't do much to improve it.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
It is difficult to make someone change the way they do something when they have been doing it the same way for a long time
You could have knocked me down with a feather
This idiom is used to mean that the person was very shocked or surprised.
You do not get a dog and bark yourself
(UK) If there is someone in a lower position who can or should do a task, then you shouldn't do it.

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