Animal idioms (E - H)

Here are some more animals to add to the list of expressions. See also (A - D).

elephant

 
 
If there was an elephant in the room, then it'd be difficult to go unnoticed.
 
An elephant in the room is an important and obvious problem, which everyone present is aware of, but isn't discussed, as such discussion is uncomfortable. 
  • The elephant in the room between many couples is what to do with aging parents.
  • Many people admired his courage in addressing the elephant in the room.
 
 
A white elephant, like in Spanish, is something that requires a lot of care and money and that gives little profit or enjoyment.
 
Do you say "como un elefante en una cacharrería" in Spanish?? We say that someone acted "like a bull in a china shop" if they are very careless in the way that they behave or move.
 
 
 
 
Fish
 
                                                                 Source: Wikipedia (Jens Petersen)
 
 
Like in Spanish, you are like a fish out of water if you feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • I can't stand football. I felt like a fish out of water surrounded by all those supporters.




A person who drinks like a fish is one who drinks a lot of alcohol. Can you say someone drinks "like a sponge" in Spanish??
  • He can drink up to 12 pints a night. He drinks like a fish.



A person who has other fish to fry has more important things to do.
  • I doubt he big boss will come to the office party. He's got other fish to fry.
  • He's not worried about the situation. He has bigger fish to fry.


If somethings sounds or smells fishy you are suspicious about it.
  • Do you believe what she said? It all sounds fishy to me.


Can you say "estar pez en algo"?? So "estoy pez en deporte" would mean that you are really bad at sport.



goose

                                                               Source: Wikipedia (Snowmanradio)

 
You get goosebumps - small raised areas on the skin - when you feel cold, afraid or sentimental.
  • I was so scared that I had goosebumps through the whole film.
  • I'm such an old softie. This song always gives me goosebumps.


If someone goes on a wild-goose chase, they waste their time looking for something that there is little or no chance of finding.
  • We've been looking for this address for hours now.  I think it's all been just a wild-goose chase.
  • The police realized that they had been sent on a wild-goose chase and charged the man for wasting police time.

If someone doesn't say boo to a goose, they are very nervous, shy and easily frightened.
  • I was surprised to see Sara so talkative at the party. Normally she won't say boo to a goose.
  • He can't say boo to a goose. He wouldn't even complain to the neighbours about the constant noise.

Do people say "hacer el ganso"?? Does it mean to play the fool / act the clown??


horse

                                                                                  Source: Wikipedia (Rror)


If you hear something straight from the horse's mouth, you hear it from the person who has direct personal knowledge of it.
  • The boss is leaving the company at the end of the month. It's true - I got it straight from the horse's mouth.

You tell someone to get off their high horse when they are acting as if they are better or more intelligent than you.
  • Stop criticising everyone else. You should get down off your high horse and admit you aren't perfect either.


If you put the cart before the horse, you are doing things in the wrong order.
  • Aren't you putting the cart before the horse? You've booked your holidays but you haven't asked if you can get time off work.



In Spanish you say "a caballo regalado no te mires el diente". In English we have a similar expression with the same meaning - don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Do you say "de caballo" in Spanish to say that something is huge?? Una casa de caballo?? Una depresión de caballo?? Una comida de caballo??




Comments

José said…

Hi Graham,

I remind you other expressions about animals.

He has elephant’s memory. (Tiene memoria de elefante)

They say that the Indian elephant cries sometimes. –Charles Darwin- (Se dice que el elefante indio llora a veces).

To fish in the cloudy river. (Pescar en río revuelto).

To drink like a fish. (Bebe como un cosaco).

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. (A caballo regalado no se le miran los dientes).

Everyone talks with own horse in a year. (Todo hombre habla con su caballo al cabo de un año).

The Trojan horse. (El caballo de Troya).

See you.
Graham said…
But you didn't answer the doubts I have about Spanish expressions, Josè!

I wish I had a memory like an elephant. Unfortunately, I have a memory like a goldfish though have a read of this:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2676801/Memory-goldfish-Its-not-bad-Fish-remember-food-12-DAYS.html

The Indian elephant is known sometimes to weep.

Have a read of this story too:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-16/raju-freed-from-a-life-in-chains/5593082

As far as I know, we don't have the expression "to fish in a cloudy river" in English. Does it mean that you are wasting your time?

Similarly, I haven't heard of the expression "Everyone talks to their own horse at the end of the year". What does it mean?


Thanks in advance :-)
José said…
Hi Graham,

I have read the article in the MailOnline about Memory of a goldfish. It’s interesting. I think that you can remember a thing more than 12 days, at least 20 days, even 22 days. LOL.

People forget the things that they not pay attention. Don’t forget.

“The scientists claim to have found that fish feel pain, just like humans”, I suppose that you, The Protector of Animals, are going to stand out it better sooner than later.

I have a read of the Indian elephant too in the news and I’m afraid that you are weeping still. The Indian elephant cries like human beings.

The expression “to fish in a cloudy river” means that some people (bad, opportunist, defrauder, etc.) take advantage to appropriate things that they are not own, when there are accidents, crashes and other sad events. I think that in English it could be: “make the most of the fishing”.

The expression “Everyone talks to their own horse at the end of the year” can mean that the daily routine and to live together ends making themselves friends. I think but I’m not sure. I don’t know how it’s in English, I suppose with get in touch, but you know better than me.

See you.
Anonymous said…
Hi Graham, I've liked the artcle.
Thanks
Hilde
Graham said…
Hi José,

I would have replied sooner but I forgot. If I had the memory of a goldfish, I might have remembered :-)




People forget things that they not pay attention to. Don’t forget.

“The scientists claim to have found that fish feel pain, just like humans”, I suppose that you, The Protector of Animals, are going to claim that this is better sooner than later.

I have also read about the Indian elephant in the news and I’m afraid that you are still weeping.

The expression “to fish in a cloudy river” means that some people (bad, opportunist, defrauder, etc.) take advantage of a situation, when there is an accident, crash or other sad event. I think that in English it could be: “make the most of the fishing”. (I've never heard of this expression)

The expression “Everyone talks to their own horse at the end of the year” can mean that the daily routine and living together means people become friends. I think so but I’m not sure. I don’t know how it’s in English, I suppose "get in touch", but you know better than me.



Maybe you should explain these expression when I see you. I'm still not much the wiser LOL



Graham said…
Glad you like it Hilde.