Do you remember what the word ‘idiom’ means? An idiom is a phrase or a group of words that has a metaphorical (not literal) meaning, which has become accepted in society. Every culture and language have different sets of idioms. Have you ever heard that British people have a great sense of humour? They like to use idioms in every part of their lives to express the situation by using funny words out of the box. So, it may be difficult for a foreigner to understand what an English speaker says during the whole conversation. You may have to be all ears (listening carefully) to catch every word. However, it is easy to learn idioms because we have many similarities to those of English. For example; “I never tell her anything because she will let the cat out of the bag!” (Ona asla bir şey söylemem ağzında bakla ıslanmıyor.) You should just spend some time to learn idioms and their equivalents in Turkish.
English has many idioms related to animals different from many languages. You can find hundreds of animal idioms for every moment. Don`t be afraid of finding yourself in a jungle because you will have fun using them when you understand the meaning and context of phrases. You may sound like a native when you learn a bunch of them. You may also expand your vocabulary knowledge by learning some words in idioms, which are less used in daily English. When you learn more animal names you will be surprised how many of them you didn`t hear before. This week we will share 10 popular animal idioms with you. Enjoy learning and using them!
1. Work like a dog
It means working very hard, putting your full energy into your work.
Ex: He always worked like a dog, saved a lot of money but he didn`t have time to enjoy his life.
2. Until the cows come
It means you can do or continue doing something for a very long time.
Ex: My family went abroad. We can spend the night outside until the cows come home.
3. Wouldn`t hurt a fly
It means someone is very gentle and harmless and doesn`t want to make others upset.
Ex: He seems rude and tough but he wouldn`t hurt a fly.
4. Butterflies in one`s stomach
It means you are anxious and excited in a situation. You may be in love or waiting for your exam results.
Ex: The bride has butterflies in her stomach.
5. Have a cow
It means being angry, furious or extremely upset (often over minor/small things)
Ex: She will have a cow when she learns you lost her watch.
6. Get the lion's share
It means having the largest part/portion/percentage of something.
Ex: I got my salary but the lion`s share went for the rent and bills.
7. Kill two birds with one stone
It means finishing/achieving/getting two things done at the same time with one action.
Ex: When I am accepted for the internship in that company, I will also have the chance to be hired after it. I will definitely kill two birds with one stone.
8. Get someone’s goat
It means making someone angry or annoyed.
Ex: The boss gets my goat after every presentation as if he knows how hard we worked for it.
9. Open a can of worms
It means making things more problematic and complicated when you want to solve or deal with it.
Ex: I have never told that my mother my brother lied to her because it will open a can of worms.
10. Cat's got one's tongue
It means that someone is very quiet and doesn`t speak (usually due to shyness).
Ex: She and said to everyone in the middle of the discussion, “I wonder if the cat got your tongue?”