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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


ANIMALS - BIRDS - FISH - INSECTS, page 8

Idioms
from:   'all his geese are swans'   to:  'horse of a different colour'


  • all his geese are swans
    • This expression refers to someone who constantly exaggerates the importance or the qualities of somebody or something.
      "Don't let him impress you. He always exaggerates. All his geese are swans."

  • get somebody's goat
    • Something that gets someone's goat annoys or irritates them.
      "People who keep pushing when you're standing in line really get my goat!"

  • cook someone's goose
    • To cook somebody's goose means to spoil that person's chances of success.
      "When the burglar saw the police car arriving, he realized his goose was cooked!"

  • have goose pimples
    • If you have goose pimples, you are cold or so afraid that your skin is temporarily raised into little lumps.
      "I was so scared that I had goose pimples all through the film!"

  • sauce for the goose
    • The saying 'what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander' means that what is appropriate for one person should also be appropriate for the other person concerned.
      "Women should earn the salary as men for the same job. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!"

  • wild goose chase
    • If someone is sent on a wild goose chase, they waste their time looking for something that there is little chance of finding.
      "They tried to find out who sent the anonymous complaint, but it turned out to be a wild goose chase."

  • knee-high to a grasshopper
    • This term refers to a very young and therefore small child.
      "Look how tall you are! Last time I saw you, you were knee-high to a grasshopper!"

  • guinea pig
    • People who are used as guinea pigs are people on whom new methods, treatment or ideas are tested.
      "A cosmetic firm is looking for guinea pigs to test their new anti-wrinkle cream."

  • run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
    • If you run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, you want to stay on friendly terms with both sides in a quarrel.
      "Bob always wants to keep everyone happy, but he can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds this time - the issue is too important."

  • eyes like a hawk
    • If you've got eyes like a hawk, you have good eyesight and notice every detail.
      "Of course Dad will notice the scratch on his car - he's got eyes like a hawk."

  • go the whole hog
    • When you go the whole hog, you do something thoroughly or completely.
      "They put up a few decorations for Christmas, then they decided to go the whole hog and buy a tree and all the trimmings."

  • live high off the hog
    • Someone who lives high off the hog has a lot of money and a very comfortable lifestyle.
      "Now he's wealthy and living high off the hog."

  • hornet's nest
    • If you stir up a hornet's nest, you do something which causes a commotion and provokes criticism and anger.
      "His letter to the Board stirred up a real hornet's nest."

  • horse of a different colour
    • To describe a person or a problem as a horse of a different colour means either that the person does things differently from others, or that the nature of the problem is entirely different.
      "I expected to negotiate with the sales manager, but the chairman turned up - now he's a horse of a different colour!"

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