Animal Idioms for IELTS Speaking

Here are useful idioms and expression about Animals to help you answer IELTS questions in a natural way in the IELTS speaking test.

  1. As busy as a beaver: extremely busy
  • My BFF is as busy as a beaver with the upcoming arduous test. She has no time for anything else.
  1. As quite as a mouse: being extremely quiet
  • She walked into the room as quite as a mouse
  1. Take the bull by the horns: face to a difficult or dangerous situation directly and with courage.
  • I decide to take the bull by the horns and tell him he was upsetting Jane.
  1. Do the donkey work: do manual labor or jobs that are routine or least important.
  • If you tell him to take it easy, he’ll sit back and let you do all the donkey work.
  1. Flog/whip a dead horse: waste time on something unlikely to be successful
  • Invest in shares and the chances are you’ll be flogging a dead horse.
  1. A lion’s share: the largest or best plan of something when it is divided.
  • The lion’s share of her money – over 80% – went to her nephews and nieces.
  1. A stag night: a social/drinking evening for groom’s male friends prior to wedding.
  • I’m having my stag night on the same day as my Sue is having her hen night.
  1. Keep the wolf from the door: earn enough to buy food and other essentials.
  • If you can’t get a better job, you won’t be able to keep the wolf from the door.
  1. Dog tired: very tired
  • He was dog tired – out on call all night and then took surgery in the morning.
  1. Let sleeping dogs lie: not interfere; not mention something that could cause trouble
  • She doesn’t need to know he’s been unfaithful. Let sleeping dogs lie.
  1. Let the cat out the bag: reveal a secret
  • He couldn’t keep it secret, let the cat out of the bag and told her everything.
  1. Cat nap smell a rat: sense that something is wrong.
  • They intended to trick him but they were always larking about and he smelt a rat.
  1. A wild goose chase: a search that has no chance of success.
  • I didn’t know her flight number so trying to find Amy at Heathrow was a bit of a wild goose chase.
  1. Chicken out: Stop participating in something which is too dangerous or difficult.
  • They are short of funds so I think they’re going to chicken out of this project.
  1. A fish out of water: A person who feels uncomfortable or awkward because he or she is in surroundings that are not familiar.
  •  I didn’t know anyone at the reception so felt like a fish out of water.

     16. Have a cow : get extremely upset , angry, worried

  • Their parents had a cow when they saw the mess their sons made.
  • Example:
    Use have a cow in the speaking test:

    When was the last time ou got upset about something
    You should say

    • what had happened
    • why did it upset you
    • what did you do

     and how did you cheer yourself up after it?


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