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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to animals, birds, fish or insects   
from:  'lion's share'   to:  'night owl'

  • lion's share
    • The lion's share of something is the largest portion, or the best part.
      "He left very little money to his children; the lion's share was donated to charity."

  • beard the lion in his den
    • If you visit someone important in the place where they work, in order to challenge him/her or obtain something, you beard the lion in his den.
      "If he continues to refuse my calls, I'll have to beard the lion in his den."

  • walk into the lion's den
    • If you walk into the lion's den, you find yourself in a difficult situation in which you have to face unfriendly or aggressive people.
      "After the failure of the negotiations, he had to walk into the lion's den and face the Press."

  • monkey business
    • An activity which is organised in a deceitful or dishonest way is called monkey business.
      "The results announced seem suspicious - I think there's some monkey business going on."

  • (a) monkey on your back
    • If you have a monkey on your back you are burdened with a persistent problem that is making your life difficult or unpleasant and is hard to solve.
      "My failure to find sponsors for the project was a monkey on my back for a long time. The contract signed today got rid of that ! The monkey is finally off my back !"

  • more fun than a barrel of monkeys
    • If something is very amusing or enjoyable, you can say that it is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
      "The TV quiz was more fun than a barrel of monkeys!"

  • make a monkey (out) of
    • If you humiliate someone by making them appear ridiculous or foolish, you make a monkey (out) of that person.
      "That's enough teasing. Don't make a monkey out of him"

  • like a moth to a flame
    • To say that a person is attracted to someone or something like a moth to a flame means that the attraction is so strong that they cannot resist.
      "He's a heavy gambler. He's drawn to the casino like a moth to a flame."

  • mouse potato
    • A mouse potato is someone who spends a lot of time in front of the computer.
      "My son and his friends are all mouse potatoes - constantly glued to the computer!"

  • (as) quiet as a mouse
    • When someone is as quiet as a mouse, they make no noise at all.
      "The burglar was a quiet as a mouse as he moved around the house."

  • (as) stubborn as a mule
    • If someone is as stubborn as a mule, they are very obstinate and unwilling to listen to reason or change their mind.
      "His friends advised him to accept the offer, but you know Larry - he's as stubborn as a mule!"

  • mutton dressed as lamb
    • This expression refers to a middle-aged woman who tries to look younger by dressing in clothes designed for younger people.
      "The style doesn't suit her - it has a mutton-dressed-as-lamb effect on her!"

  • ostrich strategy/politics
    • Someone who adopts an ostrich strategy or policy chooses to ignore or evade an obvious itself or disappear.
      "Adopting an ostrich strategy will only make matters worse - we've got to find a solution."

  • night owl
    • Someone who is lively and active at night and goes to bed very late is called night owl.
      "I work better in the evenings than in the morning. My friends say I'm a night owl."

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