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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to animals, birds, fish or insects   
from:  'ants in one's pants'   to: 'red flag to a bull'

  • ants in one's pants
    • People who have ants in their pants are very restless or excited about something.
      "I wish he'd relax. He's got ants in his pants about something today."

  • make an ass of yourself
    • If you behave so stupidly that you appear ridiculous, you make an ass of yourself.
      "Tom made an ass of himself by singing a love song outside Laura's door!"

  • like a bat out of hell
    • If something moves like a bat out of hell, it moves very quickly.
      "He grabbed the envelope and ran like a bat out of hell."

  • have bats in the belfry
    • If you say that somebody has bats in the belfry, you mean that they are eccentric or crazy.
      "He comes up with the craziest ideas - he's got bats in the belfry!"

  • like a bear with a sore head
    • If someone is behaving like a bear with a sore head, they are very irritable and bad-tempered.
      "When his team lost the match, Brad was like a bear with a sore head."

  • break the back of the beast
    • If someone breaks the back of the beast, they succeed in overcoming a major difficulty.
      "After hours of effort, the technicians finally broke the back of the beast and turned the electricity back on again."

  • eager beaver
    • The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.
      "The new accountant works all the time -  first to arrive and last to leave. He's a real eager beaver!"

  • (as) busy as a bee
    • If someone is as busy as a bee they are very active and have a lot of things to do.
      "Tom is as busy as a bee getting everything ready for the exhibition."

  • have a bee in one's bonnet
    • Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.
      "She's got a bee in her bonnet about moving to New York."

  • the bee's knees
    • To say that someone/something is the bee's knees means that you think they are exceptionally good.
      If you say "Chloe thinks she's the bee's knees" you mean that Chloe has a high opinion of herself.

  • eat like a bird
    • A person who eats very little or only small portions of food is said to eat like a bird.
      "No wonder she's so thin. She eats like a bird!"

  • birds of a feather
    • If two people are birds of a feather, they are very similar in many ways, so they naturally spend time together.
      "No wonder they get on well. They're birds of a feather!"

  • for the birds
    • If you think something is for the birds, you consider it to be uninteresting, useless or not to be taken seriously.
      "As far as I'm concerned, his theory is for the birds."

  • kill two birds with one stone
    • If you kill two birds with one stone, you succeed in doing two things at the same time.
      "By studying on the train on the way home, Claire kills two birds with one stone."

  • bitten by the bug
    • If you develop a sudden interest or enthusiasm for something, you are bitten by the bug.
      "My dad decided to take up golf and was immediately bitten by the bug."

  • snug as a bug in a rug
    • This is a humorous way of saying that you are warm and comfortable.
      "Wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa, Sophie looked as snug as a bug in a rug."

  • like a red flag to a bull
    • To say that a statement or action is like a red flag to a bull means that it is sure to make someone very angry or upset.
      "Don't mention Tom's promotion to Mike. It would be like a red flag to a bull!"

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