Try the quiz below and test your knowledge of English ❛animal❜ idioms. Have fun and check your answers by clicking the link at the bottom of the page!
1. You are shocked! Someone on the street recently told you that you are no spring chicken. In other words, he thinks that...
a) you are ugly
b) you are stupid
c) you are not young anymore
d) you are not up-to-date
2. Your teacher tells you that you are an eager beaver. He means that...
a) you are an enthusiastic and hard worker
b) you are taking too many breaks
c) you spend too much time outdoors
d) you talk too much
3. Sometimes, you would like someone to say nice things about you. So what do you do? You...
a) hunt for compliments
b) fish for compliments
c) fly for compliments
d) run for compliments
4. Last Friday, as you crossed the street, someone shouted ❝You are moving at a snail’s pace❞. You yelled back ❝No, I am not. I am as ...❞
a) quick as a bunny
b) fast as a fox
c) slow as a seal
d) quick as a cat
5. You want to become the president of your English grammar club, but your friends tell you that you are beating a dead horse. They are telling you that...
a) you are the right person for the job
b) you will be the sure winner of the election
c) it will be a tough fight for you
d) you are wasting your time because the result/outcome is already clear - you do not have a chance
6. Unfortunately, you recently let the cat out of the bag. This means that...
a) you told a secret
b) you hurt someone’s feelings
c) you made a mistake
d) gave something away for free
7. Every dog has his/its day means...
a) that everyone will experience success, even the weakest in society
b) that everyone will have a bad day
c) that people are sometimes silly
d) that people are sometimes lucky
8. Your 40th birthday is approaching and your parents finally sit you down to tell you about the birds and the bees. They want to tell you about...
a) the food chain
b) human reproduction, i.e. how life is created
c) the animal kingdom
d) creatures with wings
9. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is...
a) someone or something who looks harmless but is, in reality, dangerous
b) someone who does not like fashion
c) something that is not correct
d) someone who is a vegetarian
10. A friend tells you that you eat like a horse. What does he mean?
a) you eat loudly
b) food is falling out of your mouth
c) you eat impolitely
d) you eat a lot
11. Your old and difficult aunt, who never says anything good about anyone, told you that you are the black sheep of the family. She meant that...
a) you are likeable
b) you are the worst member of the family
c) you the best member of the family
d) you are funny
12. For your birthday, your best friend gives you an old CD from 1987. You tell him that you do not like it, but he says that you should be thankful for the gifts that you receive. In other words...
a) you should not look a gift dog in the mouth
b) you should not look a gift elephant in the mouth
c) you should not look a gift goose in the mouth
d) you should not look a gift horse in the mouth
For all of the correct definitions for these animal idioms, click here.
Schools, universities, jobs, training programs, books, the internet and, yes, the school of hard-knocks provide us with the opportunity to learn and develop the valuable skills that lead to personal development and, hopefully, economic self-sufficiency; but before the process of acquiring knowledge can take place, a personal foundation for growth has to be in place. What makes a successful learner? What is learning? Using some common English idioms, here are some thoughts about what learning requires, is or means:
1. ...being an eager beaver
An eager beaver is ❛someone who works very hard and is eager to get things done❜.
Example: Juan is an eager beaver. He has a full-time job and is going to school to get his high school diploma.
2. ...being open-minded
If you are open-minded, you are ❛willing to consider new ideas and try new things❜.
Example: Because Ashar was open-minded, he was willing to think about starting an apprenticeship at a start-up company 1800 km from home.
3. ...taking the bull by the horns
If you take the bull by the horns, you ❛take control of a difficult or challenging situation in a brave and determined way❜.
Example: When Gero was rejected by his local college, he took the bull by he horns and applied to as many other academic institutions as he could.
4. ...being all ears
The expression to be all ears means ❛to listen❜.
Example: When her professor told her about his research in Tanzania, Gertrude wanted to hear everything. She was all ears.
5. ...giving it your all
If you give it your all, you ❛do your very best to achieve a goal❜.
Example: The test was not easy, but the students gave it their all and succeeded in the end.
6. ...if all else fails, try, try again
The proverb if all else fails, try, try again means that ❛one should not give up❜.
Example: I wanted to quit, but Chi reminded me that if all else fails, I should try, try again.
7. ...thinking outside of the box
If you are able ❛to break traditional barriers and think differently❜, then you are able to think outside of the box.
Example: Being a successful artist means learning to think outside of the box.
8. ...broadening your horizons
When you ❛experience new things❜, you broaden your horizons.
Example: Moving to South America really broadened my horizons.
9. ...a golden opportunity
A golden opportunity is ❛an excellent opportunity that, perhaps, won’t be repeated❜.
Example: Learning to play the piano from Mrs. Keys was a golden opportunity.
10. ...the wind beneath your wings
The wind beneath your wings is ❛someone or something that gives you strength and power❜.
Example: My education is the wind beneath my wings.
Education really is the wind beneath your wings. Despite the fact that education is a basic human right, not every one has access it. Here are a number of organizations that you can support to help further the golden opportunity of education:
United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative
Back On Track: Rebuilding Education
Book Aid International