Idioms Relating to Animals


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Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Many idioms in the English language relate to animals. Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • 800 pound gorilla
  • A little bird told me
  • Albatross around your neck
  • All bark and no bite
  • As the crow flies
  • At a snail's pace
  • Back the wrong horse
  • Beard the lion in his own den
  • Beating a dead horse
  • Bee in your bonnet
  • Big fish in a small pond
  • Bigger fish to fry
  • Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
  • Bird's eye view
  • Birds and the bees
  • Birds of a feather flock together
  • Blind as a bat
  • Bull-headed
  • Busy as a beaver
  • Butterflies in your stomach
  • Call the dogs off
  • Can of worms
  • Cat got your tongue?
  • Cat's pajamas
  • Change horses in midstream
  • Chickenfeed
  • Close the stable door after the horse has bolted
  • Cock and bull story
  • Cold turkey
  • Constitution of an ox
  • Cook someone's goose
  • Cool as a cat
  • Could eat a horse
  • Count sheep
  • Crocodile tears
  • Cry wolf
  • Curiosity killed the cat
  • Cute as a bug
  • Dead duck
  • Deer in the headlights
  • Dog and pony show
  • Dog eat dog
  • Dog tired
  • Dog-eared
  • Doggy bag
  • Don't count your chickens before they're hatched
  • Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
  • Drink like a fish
  • Drop like flies
  • Duck to water
  • Ducks in a row
  • Eager beaver
  • Early bird catches the worm
  • Eat crow
  • Eat like a bird
  • Eat like a pig
  • Elephant in the room
  • Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while
  • Fish or cut bait
  • Fish out of water
  • Flogging a dead horse
  • Fly in the ointment
  • Fly on the wall
  • Fly the coop
  • For donkey's years
  • For the birds
  • From the horse's mouth
  • Get the monkey off your back
  • Get your goat
  • Gone fishing
  • Gone to the dogs
  • Grab the bulls by its horns
  • Grease monkey
  • Grin like a Cheshire cat
  • Hair of the dog
  • Hangdog expression
  • Hay is for horses
  • Healthy as a horse
  • Hold your horses
  • Hornets' nest
  • Horse of a different color
  • Hungry as a bear
  • In the doghouse
  • Kangaroo court
  • Keep the wolf from the door
  • Kettle of fish
  • Kill the goose that lays the golden egg
  • Kill two birds with one stone
  • Lame duck
  • Leopard can't change its spots
  • Let sleeping dogs lie
  • Like a bat out of hell
  • Like a beached whale
  • Like a bear with a sore head
  • Like a duck to water
  • Like a fish needs a bicycle
  • Like a fish out of water
  • Like a headless chicken
  • Like a moth to a flame
  • Like lambs to the slaughter
  • Lion's share
  • Loan shark
  • Lone wolf
  • Look what the cat dragged in
  • Lower than a snake's belly
  • Mad as a hornet
  • Memory like an elephant
  • Monkey business
  • Monkey see, monkey do
  • More than one way to skin a cat
  • Neither fish nor fowl
  • Night owl
  • No spring chicken
  • Not enough room to swing a cat
  • Not hurt a fly
  • On your high horse
  • One-trick pony
  • Opening a can of worms
  • Other fish to fry
  • Pig in a poke
  • Play possum
  • Proud as a peacock
  • Pull a rabbit out of your hat
  • Puppy love
  • Put lipstick on a pig
  • Putting the cart before the horse
  • Queen bee
  • Quiet as a mouse
  • Raining cats and dogs
  • Rat race
  • Red herring
  • Sacred cow
  • Shooting fish in a barrel
  • Sick as a dog
  • Sing like a canary
  • Sitting duck
  • Sleep well - don't let the bedbugs bite
  • Sly as a fox
  • Smell a rat
  • Snake in the grass
  • Snug as a bug in a rug
  • Straw that broke the camel's back
  • Strong as an ox
  • Stubborn as a mule
  • Sweat like a pig
  • Swim with the fishes
  • Take the bull by its horns
  • The cat's meow
  • Their bark is worse than their bite
  • There are many ways to skin a cat
  • Throw a monkey wrench into the works
  • Throw someone to the wolves
  • Till the cows come home
  • Top dog
  • Ugly duckling
  • Water off a duck's back
  • Whale of a time
  • What's good for the goose is good for the gander
  • When pigs fly
  • When the chickens come home to roost
  • Which came first the chicken or the egg?
  • While the cat's away, the mouse will play
  • White elephant
  • Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free
  • Wild goose chase
  • Wolf in sheep's clothing
  • Work like a dog
  • World is your oyster
  • Worm information
  • You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink
  • You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
  • You could have knocked me down with a feather