Archive for the ‘Expressions’ Category

Idioms derived from the names of animals

February 23rd, 2011 in Expressions

Take the bull by the horns (face a difficult situation boldly)

Why don’t you take the bull by the horns and dismiss him.

A cat and dog life (If people lead a cat and dog life they are constantly quarrelling or arguing.)

Mr James and his wife lead a cat and dog life.

Let the cat out of the bag (reveal a secret by mistake)

I wanted to keep the party a secret, but my sister let the cat out of the bag.

Rain cats and dogs (rain very heavily)

Till the cows come home (for a very long time)

We can discuss this issue until the cows come home, but I don’t think it will solve the problem.

Cow someone into something (make someone do something by threatening him/her)

You can’t cow him into submission. It just doesn’t work on him.

Dog in the manger (someone who prevents another from having something which he himself doesn’t use)

He is a dog in the manger. He doesn’t have a car, but he won’t allow anyone to use his garage.

Lead a dog’s life (a dog’s life is a life full of misery)

She has been leading a dog’s life since the death of her husband.

Go to the dogs (be ruined)

His drinking problem has caused his career to go to the dogs.