10 Animal Idioms and Their Meanings

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The behavior of animals and their interactions in modern-day situations have inspired a variety of zoological idioms and expressions that are applied to people and everyday circumstances.Humans and animals have a long history. . Here are 10 animal idioms to ponder.


” 8. guinea pigs have been used in laboratories to test unproven methods or products.) To Back the Wrong Horse Horse racing has a profound impact on culture and language. When in front of a group. He painted. Here’s one example: “Jenny had never cooked before. “Nick is a paper tiger. Gerald realized he had backed the wrong horse. traveled and did not embrace his father’s business. it implies that a situation is viewed from a distorted perspective. Brown is as poor as a church mouse since her husband’s passing.” 2.” 6. Here’s an example: “Rosemary did not appreciate the Faberge egg Peter brought back from Russia.) An Alley Cat This idiom describes a feral cat that hangs around in alleys and relies on food provided by soft-hearted individuals. government organizations and groups that act powerful or put on a bold face to hide their weaknesses.) The Black Sheep of the Family Like a redheaded stepchild. Here’s an example: “Mrs. but Martin agreed to serve as her guinea pig. For example. people tend to make mountains out of molehills. This common idiom is applied to people or families who are poor and live humbly. When used as an idiom.) As Poor as a Church Mouse The proverbial church mouse has little food.” 5.” 9.” 4. Susan’s friends drop by her house waiting to be fed like alley cats. the black sheep of the family never quite fits in with their siblings. This popular idiom means one made the wrong decision.” . “John was the black sheep of the family. “After school. For example.) To Serve as a Guinea Pig For years. For example. This idiom suggests that a gesture or gift is unappreciated or entirely misunderstood.) To Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill Moles are strong diggers that create mountain-shaped piles of dirt when building their underground burrows. He pretends to be tough. few possessions and no monetary wealth.1. the black sheep is often portrayed as someone who does not have the same values as the rest of their family. his mouth seized up like a cat had his tongue.) To Cast Pearls Before Swine Pigs and pearls don’t go together. but he’s really a gentle giant. it’s impossible to speak or express one’s feelings. It was as if he were casting pearls before a swine. “George was a shy child. it’s also applied to people who prey on the kindness of others. parents or relatives.” 7.” 3. Here’s an example: “When the stock market crashed. In literary works.) A Paper Tiger This timeless idiom applies to people. However. For example. A person might say. “In problem situations.) A Cat Gets One’s Tongue When a cat has one’s tongue.

However. It wasn’t long before he realized he had caught a tiger by the tail.10.” These are just a few of the animal-related idioms and expressions that are used in literary works and everyday conversations. but he chose to climb Yellowstone’s famous El Capitan.) To Have a Tiger by the Tail This popular idiom implies that one has taken control of a powerful or unwieldy situation that is too large to manage. . Here’s an example: “Larry was a novice. giving up is even more dangerous.

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