Every language has its own idioms and expressions and the English language has plenty of them that are useful to know. An idiom is a group of words that have a particular meaning that is different from the meaning of each word on its own. It cannot be translated literally. If you cannot understand them you will not be able to understand the context of the sentence.

Did you know that a lot of English idioms make reference to an animal? Here are some that you might find useful to learn and to be able to use in a sentence.

  1. Curiosity killed the cat”

It is to warn someone to stop asking too many questions about something that does not concern them.

  1. When pigs fly”

It has its equivalent in several other languages. It is used to say that something will never happen.

  1. A leopard can’t change its spots”/ “A leopard never changes its spots”

It’s something you say that refers to a person’s character, especially if it is bad, will not change, even if they pretend that it will.

  1. Hold your horses”

It is used to tell someone to wait, to slow down, or stop for a moment. It’s often used when you think that they are going to do something silly.

  1. To pig out”

If you say that people are pigging out, you are criticizing them for eating a very large amount at one meal.

  1. Have a frog in one’s throat”

To feel as though something is caught or stuck in one’s throat. It can refer to an actual hoarseness or the inability to speak due to fear.

  1. Ferret something out”:

It is when someone found out a piece of information or found someone or something, after looking in many places or asking many questions.

  1. Beaver away”:

If you are beavering at something, you are working very hard at it.

  1. Chicken out”:

If someone chickens out of something they were intending to do, they decide not to do it because they are afraid.

  1. Horse around”:

If you horse around, you play roughly and rather carelessly, so that you could hurt someone or damage something.

Idioms are a fun way to practise and expand your vocabulary, but remember idioms have only a figurative meaning.

Do you know other idioms that include an animal?

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