Learn 20 Expressions Related to Animals

Animal-related idioms and phrasal verbs add color and depth to our language. Understanding these expressions can enhance your English skills and make your conversations more engaging. Here are 20 animal expressions with their meanings and examples to help you expand your vocabulary.

1. Let the cat out of the bag

Meaning: Reveal a secret
Example: She let the cat out of the bag accidentally.

2. Hold your horses

Meaning: Wait and be patient
Example: Hold your horses, the show will start soon.

3. A wild goose chase

Meaning: Futile search
Example: Finding the document was a wild goose chase.

4. The lion’s share

Meaning: The largest part
Example: He took the lion’s share of the profits.

5. Kill two birds with one stone

Meaning: Achieve two things at once
Example: I killed two birds with one stone by shopping and exercising.

6. Let sleeping dogs lie

Meaning: Don’t disturb a situation
Example: It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie for now.

7. Take the bull by the horns

Meaning: Face a problem directly
Example: She took the bull by the horns and confronted him.

8. A fish out of water

Meaning: Uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings
Example: He felt like a fish out of water at the party.

9. Get your ducks in a row

Meaning: Organize things
Example: Before the meeting, get your ducks in a row.

10. The elephant in the room

Meaning: Obvious problem ignored
Example: We need to address the elephant in the room.

11. Raining cats and dogs

Meaning: Heavy rain
Example: It was raining cats and dogs all night.

12. Curiosity killed the cat

Meaning: Inquisitiveness can be dangerous
Example: Be careful, curiosity killed the cat.

13. A dark horse

Meaning: Unknown competitor
Example: He is the dark horse in the competition.

14. The early bird catches the worm

Meaning: Early risers succeed
Example: The early bird catches the worm, so wake up early.

15. Hold the fort

Meaning: Take care of things
Example: I’ll hold the fort while you’re away.

16. Pig out

Meaning: Eat excessively
Example: They pigged out on pizza at the party.

17. Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Meaning: Deceptive person
Example: Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

18. Busy as a bee

Meaning: Very busy
Example: She’s been busy as a bee with her new project.

19. Monkey business

Meaning: Fooling around
Example: Stop the monkey business and get to work.

20. Ants in your pants

Meaning: Restlessness
Example: The kids had ants in their pants during the lecture.

Expressions Related to Animals