Animal idioms (K-M)

Here are some more animals to add to the list of expressions. See also A- D and E - H.



Kangaroo

                                                             Image: Wikipedia (Fir0002/Flagstaffotos)

A kangaroo court is an illegal tribunal set up by a group of people who have taken the law into their own hands and conduct trials which deny fundamental justice.

  • This is like a kangaroo court. You've already decided he is guilty without hearing what he has to say.
  • They set up a kangaroo court to try the dissident, everyone knew what the outcome would be.

In English, someone who looks after a child while you are out is a babysitter.  The person who takes care of other people's children in their own home is a childminder.





Kitten

                                                          Image: Wikipedia (Paul Reynolds)



If someone is going to have kittens (va a parir gatitos), they are very worried, upset or angry about something.


  • Laura's parents will have kittens when they hear that she's decided to get married. She's only twenty.
  • He nearly had kittens when he found out that I'd be his boss.



Lamb


                                                          Image: Wikipedia (Black Angus Girl)

Mutton is the meat from an adult sheep. If a woman is described as mutton dressed as lamb, then she is dressed in a style that is more suitable for a much younger woman.

  • Do you think this skirt is too short? I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb.




Lion

                                                                  Image: Wikipedia (Roburq)




The lion's share is the largest part or most of something.
  • She inherited the lion's share of her aunt's money.
  • I have done the lion's share of the work. I just hope that the boss notices.







Mole
                                                                                         Image: Wikipedia (Mick E Talbot)


A mole is a small animal that is almost blind and lives underground. You know of their presence if  you see small piles of earth on the surface of the ground - these are called molehills.

If someone makes a small difficulty seem like a serious problem, then they are making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. There are far more important things to worry about.
  • You are making a mountain out of a molehill. You are not going to fail just because you made one mistake.


Can you think of any more animal idioms in Spanish? How would you translate them? 

Comments

José said…
Hi Graham,

We say: “There is enclosed dog here” (Aquí hay gato encerrado). Usually we say this expression when we mistrust some thing or some people or we are suspicious of somebody seems cheat us. When they sell me a flat much chipper than the common price, I say there is enclosed dog here. I yesterday took a hale home that cost five euros and my wife told me: Sorry but there is enclosed dog here.

With the sentence: “They have given you a cat instead of a hare” (Dar gato por liebre). Usually we mean that we hope more than we deserve and hard reality shows it us or that they cheat us with things less value that they had announced it us. Montse told me: This menu is different that the restaurant said, then, I said that they had given us a cat instead of a hare.

In Spanish it says: “It’d rather be the head of the mouse than the tail of the lion” (Es mejor ser cabeza de ratón que cola de león).
My boss offered me, last day, an appointment as lawyer and I told her: Sorry, I don’t want to move because I'd rather be the head of the mouse than the tail of the lion.

Another: The sheep that bleats, it loses mouthful. (Oveja que bala bocado que pierde). You have to concentrate instead of wasting time.

Every sheep with its couple (Cada oveja con su pareja). It isn’t good mix things that are incompatible or that they have different feelings.

The stupid sheep, where one of them goes all go. (Ovejas bobas, donde va una van todas). The mass thinks, goes, does, moves and so on, always the same, like sheep.

Some people have fame and others card wool. (Unos tienen la fama y otros cardan la lana). It seems that some people make a mistake and they really are another.

As I suppose that I gave you several of before animal idioms in the past I send more examples, Graham. I apologize you.

See you.


Graham said…
Hi José,

To be honest, I sometimes have to take a deep breath before replying to you. On the other hand, I appreciate you commenting on a post others have avoided. :-) It's annoying to see posts go uncommented.

It's really difficult for students to use idioms. Soemtimes it is possible to understand the meaning from the context. The next step is to recognise them even if you are unable to repeat them. The biggest step is to incorporate them into your language. I don't expect you to learn them all at once. Choose just a few that you think that you will be able to use.



We say: “There is an enclosed cat in here” (Aquí hay gato encerrado). We usually say this expression when we mistrust thing or someone or we are suspicious of somebody who seems to be cheating us. When they sell me a flat much cheaper than the asking price , I say there is an enclosed cat in here. I yesterday took a hale home that cost five euros and my wife said: Sorry but there is an enclosed cat in here.

With the sentence: “They have given you a cat instead of a hare” (Dar gato por liebre). We usually mean that we hope for more than we deserve and hard reality demonstrates the fact or that they cheat us with things worth less than they had claimed. Montse told me: This menu is different that the restaurant said, then, I said that they had given us a cat instead of a hare.

In Spanish it says: “It’d rather be the head of the mouse than the tail of the lion” (Es mejor ser cabeza de ratón que cola de león).
The other day my boss offered to appoint me as a lawyer and I told her: Sorry, I don’t want to move because I'd rather be the head of the mouse than the tail of the lion.

Another: The sheep that bleats loses a mouthful. (Oveja que bala bocado que pierde). You have to concentrate instead of wasting time.

Every sheep with its partner/mate (Cada oveja con su pareja). It isn’t good to mix things that are incompatible or that they have different feelings.

The stupid sheep, where one goes, they all go/the rest follow. (Ovejas bobas, donde va una van todas). The mass thinks, goes, does, moves and so on, always the same, like sheep.

Some people have fame and others card wool. (Unos tienen la fama y otros cardan la lana). It seems that some people make mistakes while others don't. (Not sure what you mean here - best explain it to me in class)

I suppose that I have already given you several animal idioms; I might be repeating myself. I apologize.



You can check the comments under the other posts in the A-Z list to remind yourself.