American Dog Sayings and Idioms
Giving Puppy Eyes
What are Idioms?
Many cultures, and even small regions, develop sayings over time that can be confusing to outsiders. These sayings are called idioms. One of the most famous dog related idioms in America is probably, "It's raining cats and dogs!" This dog idiom means that it is raining very hard.
There are many American dog sayings and idioms that can be confusing to English language learners and young children. The list below contains some of the most common idioms about dogs that are said by Americans, and their literal meanings.
Dog Idioms and Literal Meanings
American Dog Idiom
raining cats and dogs
dog eat dog world
a hard or difficult situation
let sleeping dogs lie
leave something alone/do not invite trouble
like a dog with two tails
as sick as a dog
like a blind dog in a meat market
out of control/crazy
someone with good luck or good fortune
dog days of summer
very hot day
meaner than a junkyard dog
not a friendly person/mean person
can't teach an old dog new tricks
it is difficult to get someone to change how they do things
the hair of the dog that bit me
drinking liquor or alcohol that you have gotten drunk off of before
every dog has their day
everyone has good and bad days/usually said when someone is having success
looking at someone with sad eyes and trying to get them to change their mind
Sleeping Dog Idiom Meaning
More Fun Dog Sayings
Here are some other fun dog sayings with the meanings in parentheses:
- Dog gone it! (gosh or darn)
- Hot Dog! (wow or neat)
- Love me, Love my dog. (my dog is important to me)
- The dog did it! (someone trying to get out of trouble and blame someone else)
- The dog ate my homework. (making excuses for not doing school work)
- I'm in the dog house. (my spouse is mad at me)
How to Learn American Idioms and Sayings
Living in an area over time will help you learn American sayings and idioms, but if you need to find the literal meanings faster, check out these great resources on the web. These sites are intended for English language learners, but they are also great for kids to use as well.
- www.usingenglish.com allows you to search idioms alphabetically
- www.englishclub.com allows you to search for idioms spoken in American English and formal English
- www.learninggamesforkids.com fun idiom matching games for kids and adults
Another way to learn idioms on your own is to watch videos or find printable worksheets on the Internet to practice matching idioms with literal meanings. It is great to see idioms in print because many times when people speak in idioms, English language learners can have a hard time figuring out each word in the idiom, and and may also have difficulty determining if part of a sentence is an idiom or the whole sentence is an idiom.
Common Animal Idioms
More Animal Idioms- Do you know what these animal idioms mean?
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