3/7/18 20 Animal Idioms in English (Part 1)
Idioms with Large Animals
“The elephant in the room” is an idiom for a problem or controversial issue that is too big to ignore, but that everyone tries to avoid talking about because it is embarrassing or will cause conflict.
A pony is a small horse, which is often used for shows, competitions, and exhibitions. People teach ponies “tricks” to perform at the shows. If a pony only knows one trick, then it doesn’t have a great variety of abilities. So describing someone as a “one-trick pony” means the person has only one ability or good quality that he/she is known for, and doesn’t have any other abilities.
“The lion’s share” of something is the biggest part or portion.
This idiomatic expression means “Wait a minute! Don’t be in such a hurry.”
Idioms with Small Animals
If something “gets your goat,” it means it annoys you.
Describing someone as “pig-headed” means that person is stupid and stubborn (close-minded and inflexible).
Weasels have a reputation for being sneaky. If a person “weasels out of” some responsibility, it means they abandon their responsibility or commitment in a way that is sneaky or cowardly.
Idioms with Domestic Animals
If you think something is “the cat’s meow,” it means you think it is excellent, wonderful, really great.
Let the cat out of the bag
To reveal a secret.
If something “goes to the dogs,” it means it goes bad, deteriorates, or becomes poor-quality.
If you make a suggestion to “let sleeping dogs lie,” it means not to talk about things in the past that might cause problems if you mention them today. This idiom comes from the fact that a sleeping dog is peaceful, but if you wake it up, it might be angry and bite you.