A Fish Out Of Water & 9 Other Animal Idioms

MichaelADIdioms & Slang 2 Comments

Here are some commonly used idioms that you can use to make your English sound more natural and less like a textbook.

to be like a fish out of water Someone who feels like a fish out of water is in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation.



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as sick as a dog 

  • How to use it: [someone] is as sick as a dog
  • Explanation: Someone who is as sick as a dog is very sick.
  • Example: Bob was as sick as a dog because he caught the flu.

cat got one’s tongue

  • How to use it: the cat got [someone’s] tongue
  • Explanation: When the cat got your tongue, you are unable to speak.
  • Example: Jim was pretty quite at the party, so I asked him if the the cat had gotten his tongue.

dog days of summer

  • How to use it: [we say this about hot summer weather] These are the dog days of summer
  • Explanation: The dog days of summer are the hottest days in the summer.
  • Example: I’m getting tired of the dog days of summer.

drink like a fish

  • How to use it: [someone] drinks like a fish
  • Explanation: When you drink like a fish, you drink a large amount of alcoholic drinks.
  • Example: Cathy’s a nice person, but she drinks like a fish.

green around the gills

  • How to use it: [someone] is green around the gills
  • Explanation: Someone who is green around the gills is ill.
  • Example: Joe looked a little green around the gills so the boss sent him home.

lock horns

  • How to use it: [two people] lock horns
  • Explanation: When you lock horns with someone you argue intensly.
  • Example: Tom and his wife locked horns about the household budget again.

night owl

  • How to use it: [someone] is a night owl
  • Explanation: Someone who is a night owl likes to stay up very late at night and sleep during the day.
  • Example: Kathy is a night owl, so she is usually on Skype until 3am.

party animal

  • How to use it: [someone] is a party animal
  • Explanation: Someone who is a party animal really enoys going to clubs and bars, drinking and having fun.
  • Example: Jane is a real party animal. She’s been out late every night this week!

stuffed to the gills

  • How to use it: [someone] is stuffed to the gills
  • Explanation: When you are stuffed to the gills, you have eaten a lot of food.
  • Example: I was stuffed to the gills after eating the pizza, but it was yummy!



Comments 2

  1. Hey, Michael. How’s it going? Well, we have been struggling with a lot of dog days of summer here in Brazil since last November… It’s the hottest smmer in ages and it’s not even summer anymore but I am writing this comment at 10 pm and it feels like 25 Celcius, so right now getting better means getting worst!

    1. Hi Ana, Wow. We have plenty of cold weather I can send you!
      Here in New York we have been stuck in the deep freeze – the winter just hasn’t wanted to let go and go away so that spring can come. I think the weather this weekend will finally be warm. I hope it cools down for you soon!.

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