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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


ANIMALS - BIRDS - FISH - INSECTS, page 9

Idioms
from:   'horse sense'   to:  'mutton dressed as lamb'


  • horse sense
    • Someone who has horse sense is a practical thinker who has the ability to make sensible decisions.
      "Don't worry. Andrew has good horse sense. He'll do the right thing."

  • back / bet on the wrong horse
    • If you back or bet on the wrong horse, for example the loser in a contest, match or election, you support the wrong person.
      "When I voted for him I was convinced he would win, but I backed the wrong horse!"

  • beat/flog a dead horse
    • To say that someone is beating (or flogging) a dead horse means that they are wasting time and effort trying to do or achieve something that is impossible.
      "Mark is beating a dead horse trying to get his money reimbursed. The company has gone bankrupt!"

  • could eat a horse
    • To say that you could eat a horse means that you are very hungry.
      "Let's get something to eat. I'm starving. I could eat a horse!"

  • (a) dark horse
    • A dark horse is secretive person who keeps hidden a surprising ability or skill.
      "He is such a dark horse. I never knew he was a playwright!"

  • get on your high horse
    • If you get on your high horse, you start behaving in a haughty manner, as though you should be treated with more respect.
      "He got on his high horse when he was asked to show his membership card."

  • hold your horses
    • If you tell someone to hold their horses, you think they are doing something too fast and should slow down and not rush into further action.
      "Hold your horses! We need to get the customer's approval first!."

  • one horse town
    • A place referred to as a one-horse town is a small, boring town where nothing much ever happens.
      "I wish my grandparents didn't live in that one-horse town. It's such a boring place!"

  • horses for courses
    • This expression means that because horses race better on a course that suits them, it is important to match people with suitable jobs or tasks. A person suited to one activity may not be suited to another.
      "His experience in sales doesn't necessarily make him ideal for the job. Horses for courses, as the saying goes!"

  • straight from the horse's mouth
    • If you learn something straight from the horse's mouth, the information is given to you by someone who is directly involved.
      "How do you know Sam has resigned?"
      "I got it straight from the horse's mouth - Sam told me himself!"


  • kangaroo court
    • 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.
      "Calm down please! Is this a meeting or a kangaroo court?"

  • have kittens
    • To say that you're going to have kittens is a dramatic way of expressing worry, anxiety or fear.
      "His mother nearly had kittens when Alex announced that we wanted to be a trapeze artist."

  • mutton dressed as lamb
    • This expression refers to a middle-aged woman who tries to look younger by dressing in clothes designed for younger people.
      "The style doesn't suit her - it has a mutton-dressed-as-lamb effect on her!"

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