Dog Hause
A Playground for Pets and Pet Lovers
 
Animal Idioms and Expressions A-B

[A-B] [C] [D-F] [G-M] [N-R] [S-Z]

A

ANT
working like ants
Working hard.

ants in one's pants
to be very restless and impatient
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

APE
go ape
become extremely excited
Source: Wayne Magnuson

B

BARK
a barking dog never bites
Someone who makes threats all the time, seldom carries out the threats.
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

bark up the wrong tree
Pursue an erroneous course of action.
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

his bark is worse than his bite
Someone comes across as being very mean and nasty, but doesn't necessarily act on their threats
Source: Lewis, Stacey

why keep a dog and bark yourself
You should not do something you hired some one else to do.
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

BAT
As blind as a bat
unaware.
Source: funbrain.com

have bats in the (or one's) belfry
Informal. to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

like a bat out of hell
Fast.
Source: Big List of Cliches

BEAR
as gruff as a bear
Gruff.
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

slick as bear grease
smooth and slick
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

like a bear with a sore head
Very disgruntled.
Source: Funk, Charles

bear down
try harder
Source: Wayne Magnuson

bear the brunt
accept the most blame or responsibility
Source: Wayne Magnuson

cranky as bear with a sore paw
Source: Dianna Ly

loaded for bear
To be prepared for any possibility. Originally this phrase had a hunting significance dating back to possibly a time when the west was wild and woolly. Modern slang has introduced a new meaning into the phrase -- to be well loaded; drunk.
Source: Funk, Charles
also
"Bears are notoriously difficult to kill. Wounded grizzlies will sometime pursue those who hunt them. I have always understood 'loaded for bear' to mean that one is equipping (or over-equipping) oneself for an extraordinary hunt."
Source: Ashton Armistead
and
"In the days of the old muzzle loading rifles or shotguns, every load was unique, and suited to the occasion, if desired. You could use a small load of powder for squirrel, or more for larger animals. The bear, apparently particularly hard to kill and dangerous when wounded, called for a large load of powder and shot. Hence, the term 'loaded for bear' means 'maxed out', or prepared for the greatest challenge.When you were loaded for bear, and did shoot, the kick of the gun was a real kick, too."
Source: Dog Hause Visitor Danapun

have a bear by the tail
to have a very difficult problem to solve
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

hungry as a bear
very hungry
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

BEAVER
busy as a beaver
Busy.

eager beaver
someone who is very eager to do something
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

BEE
busy as a bee
Busy.
Source: Big List of Cliches

a beehive of activity
a busy place, a room full of working people
Source: Wayne Magnuson

make a beeline
go straight towards
Source: Wayne Magnuson

the bee's knees
the best, superior, the cat's meow
Source: Wayne Magnuson

having bees in one's bonnet
to be up in a tizzy about something.

BIRD
a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Don't go after something if it means loosing what you have.
Source: Cliche Finder

had the bird
worn or broken
Source: Wayne Magnuson

happy as a box of birds
joyful, very happy
Source: Wayne Magnuson

have a bird
be overcome with excitement or grief
Source: Wayne Magnuson

naked as a jay bird
no clothes on, bare naked, in the nude
Source: Wayne Magnuson

sitting in a cat bird seat
A person is "sitting pretty" or in a "favored position." This saying was popularized, at least, in these here parts [Texas], by a short story entitled "Catbird Seat," which was written by the well-known American writer of humorous fiction--James Thurber. Thurber, of "Walter Mitty" fame, gives credit to Red Barber--the down--home Southern baseball sports announcer for introducing this rural idiom to the mainstream American public. According to Thurber, the phrase means: being in an advantageous position.
Source: Wheepie@aol.com

for the birds
Not for me.
Source: Big List of Cliches

free as a bird
Free.
Source: Cliche Finder

a little bird told me
I won't tell you who told me.
Source: Turner, Martin

flip the bird
To stick up your middle finger in a derogatory way.

bird's-eye view
Seen from above.
Source: Cliche Finder

a wet bird never flies at night
"The saying 'a wet bird never flies at night' was a catch phrase used by Jackie Vernon - a stand up comic on the television in the 70's. You're probably not old enough to remember him - but he had a very dry humor and never smiled. Think he might also have been the one that said 'It's bad luck to blow-dry a wet raccoon.'"
Source: Dog Hause Visitor barbervin

birds in their little nest agree
People who live together should try hard to get along peacefully.
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

birds of a feather flock together
Similar people tend to associate with each other.
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

fine feathers make fine birds
It's the details that make something good.

bird dog
someone's buttock's
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

Itís an ill bird that fouls its own nest
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

killing two birds with one stone
Accomplishing two things at the same time.

the bird has flown
Informal. the person in question has fled or escaped
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

the birds and the bees
Euphemistic or jocular. sex and sexual reproduction
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

get the bird
Informal
a. to be fired or dismissed
b. (esp of a public performer) to be hissed at, booed, or derided
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

give (someone) the bird
Informal. to tell (someone) rudely to depart; scoff at; hiss
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

like a bird
without resistance or difficulty
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

the early bird catches the worm
Don't procrastinate (unless maybe youíre the worm.)

BOAR
crazy as a peach-orchard boar
loony
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

BONE
throw you a bone
To give you a compliment.
Source: Bostone, Tristan

BUG
as snug as a bug in a rug
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

don't let the bed bugs bite
Sleep Well.

bitten by the same bug
have the same interest or hobby
Source: Wayne Magnuson

like a chicken on a June bug
very quickly, in a flash
Source: Wayne Magnuson

Love Bug
Volkswagen Beetle, The Bug
Source: Wayne Magnuson

put a bug in my ear
told me secretly, a little bird told me
Source: Wayne Magnuson

don't bug me
Leave me in peace.
Source: Dog Hause Visitor Dianne Lam

cute as a bug's ear
On the theory that the smaller they come the cuter they are.
Source: Funk, Charles

crazy as a betsy bug
loony
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

crazy as June bug
Crazy.
Source: Dianna Ly

BULL
to not know B from a bull's foot
To be extremely ignorant.
Source: Funk, Charles

take the bull by the horns
to face and tackle a difficulty without shirking.
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

bull
US slang. to talk lightly or foolishly
Source: wordreference.com, The Collins English Dictionary

bull-headed
to be stubborn
Source: funbrain.com

useless as tits on a bull
completely useless
Source: Kate Field

cock-and-bull story
untrue story
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

to shoot the bull
Gathering of people talking.
Source: Funk, Charles

like a bull in a china shop
Someone who heedless of physical damage or the personal feelings of anyone, shoulders his way though delicate situations.
Source: Funk, Charles
Alt Def.: Something or some one in a place where they or it does not belong or is out of place.
Source of Alt.: Jason Brown

BUNNY
dust bunny
a clump of dust or lint
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

BUTTERFLY
as gaudy as a butterfly
Source: Bertram, Anne (Bowl of Cherries)

BUZZARD
buzzard bait
a dying or a worthless animal
Source: Bertram, Anne (Pig's Eye)

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idiom n. An expression conforming or appropriate to the peculiar structural form of a language; in extend use, an expression sanctioned by usage, having a sense peculiar to itself and not agreeing with the logical sense of its structural form; The term red herring, an idiom meaning 'false trail', is used of something which is neither red nor a herring. (source Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary)

I have 6 pages of idioms organized by animal name. If you were looking for an idiom about dogs, you'd click on D-F and scroll your way to the word Dog. Or if you are like me, you'll read page by page all the idioms the Dog Hause has to offer. :) Enjoy.

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