Learn English Idioms, Phrases, and Expressions with Animals

 

In this video I’ll help you learn fifteen different English idioms involving animals and exactly what they mean.

Hi Bob the Canadian here. The English language can be confusing because we have so many different idioms, expressions, and phrases.

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So the English language is full of a number of different phrases that don’t quite make sense when you first look at them. Today we’re going to look at fifteen different idioms, fifteen different expressions all of them involving animals and I’ll explain to you exactly what they mean.

So let’s get started.

The first ones we’re going to look is ones that involve flies.

And we’ll look at two. So there’s two expressions involving flies, there’s probably more, but I’m just going to look at two, the first one is: wouldn’t hurt a fly.

So let’s imagine that you have a really really big friend, huge muscles, really tough looking guy, but in his heart he’s a very very gentle person. So you would describe that person as: He wouldn’t hurt a fly. So he, he’s even though he’s so big and strong he wouldn’t even hurt something as small as a fly.

The second expression involving flies is: dropping like flies.

So for instance let’s say you forgot to water all of your flowers in your flowerbed and they are all starting to die at the same time you would describe them as: They are dropping like flies.

The second animal that has phrases or idioms associated with it is the chicken.

And we’ll look at one phrase involving chickens and that’s the phrase: To chicken out.

So let’s say you and your friends are going to dive off of a really high diving board. Your friend goes up. He jumps off the diving board. He lands in the water. You go up, you get to the end of the diving board, and you become afraid. And you decide not to do it. We would describe that as: Chickening out. Your friend would say: You chickened out! You didn’t dare dive off the high diving board. You chickened out!

The next animal where we’ll look at a phrase or two is the pig.

So we’ll look at three phrases involving pigs. The first one describes me quite well and that’s: To be pig headed. You could say Bob the Canadian is pig headed. And what that would mean is that I am stubborn. That I am set in my ways. That I don’t like to do something if I don’t want to do it. So to be pig headed is to be stubborn.

The next phrase involving pigs is to pig out. And this could describe me as well. To pig out is to sit down at a meal and to just eat like crazy, to eat really fast, to eat too much. And we would say: Oh man he’s really pigging out! Or: He really pigged out on that meal. So it means to eat a lot, sometimes to eat a lot really quickly.

The last phrase involving pigs is: When pigs fly.

And this essentially means that something will happen when pigs fly. Now we all know pigs can’t fly, so when we say “When pigs fly.” what we actually mean is that it will probably never happen. When pigs fly.

The next animal where we’ll look at a phrase or two is the elephant.

And we’ll look at one phrase with the elephant and the phrase in English that we say quite often is: The elephant in the room.

And the elephant in the room refers to something that no one wants to talk about. So let’s say you’re at a party and someone has done something bad, but no one actually wants to mention it. Maybe someone has been arrested or something horrible. So the elephant in the room is the subject that no one wants to talk about.

The next animal we’ll look at that has interesting phrases is the cow.

And we’ll look at two phrases involving the cow. One is: To have a cow or Don’t have a cow. And when we say, “Don’t have a cow!” we’re actually saying don’t make a big deal out of something. To have a cow is to get overly upset about something. To have a cow is to be overly emotional about something.

The second phrase we use with cows is the phrase: ‘Till the cows come home. So basically the ‘till the cows come home means you know he did it ‘till the cows came home so he did forever. So he did for a very very very long time. If you were to say: He likes to work ‘till the cows come home, it basically means that he likes to work forever.

The next animal where we’re going to look at a phrase or two is the bear.

So the bear we have one saying English about the bear and it’s: Don’t poke the bear.

And essentially “Don’t poke the bear” means don’t disturb something or someone if you think that something bad will happen. So for instance a good example is if I’m having a nap, my wife might say to my children, “Don’t poke the bear!” if they’re trying to wake me up, because they know if they wake me up from my nap I will be grumpy. So don’t poke the bear means don’t mess with something, don’t interfere with something if you think something bad will happen. Don’t poke the bear.

The next animal we’ll look at is the rat.

And we have one saying with rats, there’s probably more, but we have one saying with rats and that’s: to smell a rat.

And to smell a rat is to be suspicious of something. To smell a rat is to think something’s going on here, and I’m not quite sure what it is. I smell a rat.

The next animal we’re gonna look at is the goat.

So we have a saying with goats called: To not let someone get your goat. So if I say well don’t let them get your goat what I’m saying is don’t let them get you upset. Don’t let them upset you.

Unfortunately we don’t have any sayings for geese that I know of, but there’s a bunch of them flying by right now, but let’s move on to the next animal.

The next animal we’re gonna look at is the cat.

And there’s a lot of sayings with cats, I’m gonna talk about just one and that’s to let the cat out of the bag.

To let the cat out of the bag is to simply tell something that was supposed to be a secret. Do maybe you’re planning a surprise party for someone and someone tells that person that there’s going to be a surprise party for them. That would be them letting the cat out of the bag.

The next animal we’re gonna talk about is the horse.

So I’m gonna look at two horse idioms, the first is: Horsing around.

So horsing around is when people are just being crazy and playing and being excited. A lot of times we use horsing around to describe children. So I might be driving my van and my kids are in the back and they’re just being loud and crazy. I might say to them, “Stop horsing around!” Stop horsing around means please calm down. Please be kind to each other. I often say that while I’m driving my kids around.

The other saying that we have involving horses is: Hold your horses!

Hold your horses just means wait. So someone might be really excited to do something and you might simply say to them, “Whoa! Hold your horses!” and it all it means is please wait just a bit, you’re so excited to do this. Hold your horses!

Well that’s a number of idioms involving animals.

Bob the Canadian here. Learn English with Bob the Canadian. I hope this video was helpful for you. Please don’t forget to give me a thumbs up if you could. Please share this video. Subscribe if you haven’t subscribed to this channel yet and I just hope that all of you have a great day and I’ll see you in the next video.

 

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