10 Idioms related to animals

Act as guinea pig

Meaning: To allow some kind of test to be performed on someone.

Example: I was not happy to act as guinea pig for the new training material.

As crooked as a dog’s hind leg

Meaning: Dishonest

Example: The politician is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg and nobody trusts him.

Bark up the wrong tree

Meaning: To choose the wrong course of action, to ask the wrong person (a hunting dog may make a mistake when chasing an animal and bark up the wrong tree)

Example: My boss is barking up the wrong tree. I did not cause the computer problem.

Beat a dead horse

Meaning: To continue fighting a battle that has been won, to continue to argue a point that has been settled.

Example: I was beating a dead horse when I was arguing with my boss.

The best-laid plan of mice and men

Meaning: The best thought-out plans that

Example: The best-laid plan of mice and men could not prevent our travel problems.

The tail wagging the dog

Meaning: A situation where a small part controls the whole thing.

Example: The control of receptionist in this office is like the tail is wagging the dog.

A cat in gloves catches no mice

Meaning: If you are too careful and polite you may not get what you want.

Example: A cat in gloves catches no mice and I advised my friend that he should be more aggressive at work or he will not be successful.

Let sleeping dogs lie

Meaning: Do not make trouble if you do not have to.

Example: You should let sleeping dogs lie and not ask our boss about the dispute.

A paper tiger

Meaning: A person or organization that is supposed to have a lot of power that is actually very weak.

Example: The manager was a paper tiger and did not have any power in the company.

Let the cat out of the bag

Meaning: To tell something that is supposed to be a secret

Example: A teacher let the cat of the bag when she began to talking about the plans to close the school.


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