In Science By Svetlana

15 animals, interesting idioms. 15 Animal Idioms in Use

English language — is one of the most «rich» language in the world, as it more than five hundred thousand words, and every day this number is steadily increasing. The most beautiful and vibrant part of the vocabulary of the English language are turns of phrase (a term that is often used by our scholars of English literature in the former Soviet Union) and idioms (a term which can be found in Western literature). These are stable expression, we can not translate word for word, because often in this case they lose their meaning. What to do with such expressions? There are two ways to solve the problem: you need to look as close as possible the equivalent translation in native language (for example: to take a bull by the horns — «to take the bull by the horns,» which means «to take matters into their own hands»). Or search for descriptive idioms option if translated into the native language is not possible (for example: to see eye to eye — to agree about something or someone — «disagree with anything or anyone»).

Today we will talk about the idioms associated with the animal world. In English, there are so many of such phrases that best help you to express your thoughts.

Idiom / Phrase Meaning in English The literal translation Meaning
Not enough room to swing a cat Is used for saying that a room is very small and there is not enough space to live comfortably in it Not enough space to unleash a cat Very little space to live comfortably
Can talk the hind legs off a donkey About a person who can talk a lot Maybe «uboltat» (speak) back legs ass The person who talks a lot
Straight from the horse’s mouth To get information directly from someone who knows it Straight from the mouth of a horse Get information directly from someone who knows about it
For donkey’s years For an extremely long period of time For donkey years For a very long time
To take under someone’s wing To help and protect someone, especially someone who is younger than you or has less experience than you Take Wing To help and protect someone, especially if the person is young and inexperienced
(be) Like water off a duck’s back It has no effect on someone at all (usually criticism) As the water with ducks Something that has no effect (like water off a duck)
To go to the dogs If a country or an organization is going to the dogs, it is becoming less successful than it was in the past (usually in continuous tenses) Going to the dogs Something does not work, it breaks down and becomes less successful (go to hell)
Not to have a cat in hell’s chance To have no chance at all of achieving something (usually + of + doing sth) Do not have a pig in a bloody event It is not able to / chance to reach something to do
To pussyfoot around To go about timidly and cautiously Walk like a cat around Beat about the bush
To put a cat among the pigeons To do or say something that causes trouble and makes a lot of people angry or worried Plant a cat among the pigeons Do or say something that will cause problems and a lot of people angry / worry
To let the cat out of the bag To reveal a secret or a surprise by accident Let the cat out of the bag Open secret or accidentally tell the surprise
Curiosity killed the cat Being curious can get you into trouble Curiosity killed the cat Curiosity may cause problems
Be like a red rag to a bull If a statement or an action is like a red rag to a bull, it makes someone very angry Like a red rag to the bull Something makes a person feel very angry / pissed
I can eat a horse Be very hungry Eat horse Be very hungry
Eat boiled crow To be forced to admit that you are wrong and to say you are sorry Eat crow To be wrong and admit his guilt, apologizing

I hope you have seen that in the English language there are many idioms related to animals, and most do not have a direct translation in the Russian language. How can they remember? Better constant repetition has nothing came up! We offer you a test to secure the material.



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