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A list of phrases about animals

A list of phrases about animals

A list of phrases about animalsFrom 'A bird in the hand' to 'Weasel words', we love to include animals in our language.

Here's a select collection of phrases and sayings inspired by our furry and feathered friends:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

A barking dog never bites

A cat may look at a king

A dog is a man's best friend

A dog's breakfast

A dog's dinner

A fish out of water

A fish rots from the head down

A fly in the ointment

A leopard cannot change its spots

A little bird told me

A nest of vipers

A pig in a poke

A red rag to a bull

A white elephant

A wild goose chase

A wolf in sheep's clothing

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle

Act the giddy goat

An albatross around one's neck

As bald as a coot

As busy as a bee

As cute as a bug's ear

As dead as a dodo

As fine as frog's hair

As fit as a butcher's dog

As happy as a clam

As mad as a hatter

As mad as a March hare

As sick as a parrot

As snug as a bug in a rug

As the crow flies

At one fell swoop

Badgered to death

Barking mad

Barking up the wrong tree

Bats in the belfry

Beast with two backs

Bee in your bonnet


Bell the cat

Big fleas have little fleas upon their back to bite 'em Link to proverb

Birds of a feather flock together

Black sheep of the family

Brass monkey weather

Bunny boiler

Canterbury pace

Cat burglar

Cat got your tongue?

Cat's Cradle

Cat's pajamas - The

Chew the cud

Chickens come home to roost

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

Cold turkey

Counting sheep

Crocodile tears

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

Curiosity killed the cat

Dark horse

Dead cat bounce

Dog's breakfast

Dog's dinner

Donkey work

Don't change horses in midstream

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched

Don't keep a dog and bark yourself

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

Don't shut the stable door after the horse has bolted

Drink like a fish

Dropping like flies

Ducks and drakes

Elephant in the room

Even a worm will turn

Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog

Flogging a dead horse

Fly on the wall

Get off your high horse


Get your goat

Giddy goat

Ginger up

Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day

Go the whole hog

Go to the dogs

Green eyed monster

Grinning like a Cheshire cat

Guinea pig

Hair of the dog that bit you

Halcyon days

Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings

Has the cat got your tongue?


Hold your horses

Horse and cart

Horse feathers

How now brown cow?

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child

Hush puppies

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

In a pig's eye

In the doghouse

Jump the shark

Kangaroo court

Kettle of fish

Lamb to the slaughter

Lame duck

Let the cat out of the bag

Like a chicken with its head cut off

Like a moth to a flame

Like being savaged by a dead sheep

Lions led by donkeys

Mackerel sky

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

Make a bee-line for

Make a pig's ear of

Make an ass of yourself

Mare's nest

Music has charms to sooth the savage beast/breast

Mutton dressed as lamb

Neither fish nor flesh, nor good red herring

Never look a gift horse in the mouth

Nice kettle of fish

Night owl

No room to swing a cat

Not a dicky-bird

On the pig's back

One swallow doesn't make a summer

Paper tiger

Pearls before swine

Pecking order

Pig and whistle


Pig's ear

Pigs might fly

Play ducks and drakes

Play the giddy goat

Pond life

Pony and trap

Pony up

Pop goes the weasel

Pretty kettle of fish

Put the cart before the horse

Rabbit and pork

Rag, tag and bobtail

Raining cats and dogs


Red herring

Red in tooth and claw

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross

Road apples

Sacred cow

See a man about a dog

Separate the sheep from the goats

Shaggy dog story

Shanks' mare/shanks' pony


Stone the crows

Stool pigeon

Straight from the horse's mouth

Strain at the leash

Swan song

The ants are my friends, they're blowing in the wind

The bee's knees

The best laid schemes of mice and men

The birds and the bees

The chickens come home to roost

The early bird catches the worm

The elephant in the room

The fly in the ointment

The hair of the dog that bit you

The mutt's nuts

The tail wagging the dog

There is more than one way to kill a cat

They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance

Till the cows come home

Top dog

Turkeys voting for Christmas

Wave a red rag to a bull

Weasel words

When pigs fly

Where the bee sucks, there suck I

White elephant

Wild goose chase

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink

You can't hold with the hare and run with the hounds

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

You can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds

You can't teach an old dog new tricks

Gary Martin - the author of the website.

By Gary Martin

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

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