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Birds, Reptiles and Creepy Crawlies in English Proverbs and Sayings

Updated on May 31, 2018
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love the English language, it's so expressive and colorful, with its nuances of meaning, metaphors, puns, proverbs and regional slang

Learn How to Include Birds, Reptiles and Creepy Crawlies in Your Conversation!

English language is very rich in similes, metaphors, proverbs and sayings.

Here you will find many figures of speech about birds, reptiles and creepy crawly things like spiders, flies and even dragons.

I think you'll be quite surprised to find how many expressions there are about these creatures.

Source

See How Many of These English Expressions You Know

If you are English speaking, you will find this fun, and if you are learning English as a second language, you will discover many useful phrases which will help you to improve your English in an enjoyable way, and the pictures will assist you in remembering.

Birds

Ducks in a pond
Ducks in a pond | Source

Proverbs and Sayings About Birds:

English Proverbs:

Don't count your chickens till they hatch - Don't rely on things which haven't happened yet

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - better to have something than nothing at all

One swallow doesn't make a summer - you can't make a generalisation from just one event

English Expressions:

Bird brained - forgetful

A birdie - a golfing term for a hole in one

A wise old owl - somebody clever or street-wise

As the crow flies - straight

To crow - to boast triumphantly

hawk-eyed - noticing everything

To hawk your wares - to sell

As hard as putting salt on a sparrow's tail - almost impossible

Sing like a bird - to sing beautifully

Sing like a canary - to disclose secrets under pressure

To parrot something - to copy

A polly parrot -Someone who keeps repeating what you say

Pigeon-toed - feet that turn in

A vulture - someone who preys on other people

Chicken livered - cowardly

A little dicky bird told me -I am not saying who told me

Not a dicky - Not a word (comes from Cockney rhyming slang - dicky bird = word)

A Kiwi - A New Zealander

An ostrich - Someone who is hiding their head in the sand and, therefore, refuses to accept what is evident

A gannet - A greedy person

Reptiles

Source

Proverbs and Sayings About Reptiles:

To Snake - To wind (e.g. a path winding through a field)

Like a Chamelion - Someone who blends in or changes their appearance to fit the circumstances

Crocodile tears - pretending to be unhappy when you are really glad

A snake in the grass - Someone who is likely to harm you if you aren't careful

You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince - It's difficult to find someone suitable

Leap frog - to go up one level

A frog in your throat - a slight cough

Toad-in-the-hole - sausages in batter

To toady - to act obsequiously

A Dragon - someone fiery and bad-tempered

Draconian - harsh

The Oxford Dictionaries Are Some of the Best, and Have Been in Print for Many Decades, With Updates to Incorporate Modern Language Changes

Compact Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus
Compact Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus

Oxford dictionaries are exellent value, and are very good because Oxford Press specializes in dictionaries.

In case you don't know, the whole point of using a thesaurus is to discover words with a similar meaning which you can use in place of the word you usually use. This gives your use of language more color and variety, and, of course, it increases your vocabulary.

I have been using various Oxford Dictionaries for years, and have always found them very helpful, not only when searching for words, synonyms and their meanings, but also to learn new vocabulary. When I was younger, I used to scan through a few pages just for enjoyment, to find new words and to understand their source. Many English words come from other European languages, from Nordic to Mediterranean countries, and even from further afield around the world.

 

I Wrote This Poem About a Crocodile

The Crocodile

The crocodile is a gruesome creature
Green slime drips from every feature
His tongue is pink, his breath is vile
I do not trust his toothy smile

The crocodile is a fearsome creature
If you go near he may well eat yer
He lurks on the bank of the great Zambezi
Escape from him would not be easy

© Diana Grant

Creepy Crawlies (Insects)

An unusual yellow spider
An unusual yellow spider | Source

Proverbs and Sayings about Creepy Crawlies

To Give Someone a Flea in the Ear - To give them a sharp reprimand

Like Bees Round a Honeypot - To be strongly attracted

Waspish - Sharply irritable, spiteful

To be fly - To be streetwise or clever

A Fly in the Ointment - A minor irritation which spoils something

A Fly-By-Night - Unreliable or untrustworthy

A Spider's Web - A lair

To Create a Spider's Web of Lies - To create a tissue of lies

Ants in your Pants - You can't sit still

At a Snail's Pace - Very slowly

To Feel Sluggish - Jaded or lacking energy

A Leech - a person who lives off or makes a profit from someone

The Worm Turns - If you push a quiet person too far they will turn on you

A Fly on the Wall - An unnoticed observer

What Are Your Thoughts About Learning English?

A veritable Pandora's Box of ideas
A veritable Pandora's Box of ideas | Source

Are You a Native English Speaker, or Are You Learning English as a Second Language?

Compare your opinion with other people who have had to learn - Is English too difficult? Are there too many exceptions or too many rules?

And what about the spelling? But take heart, virtually nobody gets the spelling right every time! In fact, my grandchildren have the same experience as I did as a child in primary school - taking home a list of ten new spellings every day or two for several years to learn, with a class test the next day. It just doesn't come naturally, because the English language is derived from so many different sources. I have found that It certainly helps to spell correctly in English if you have also learnt Latin, Greek, French and German!

Do you like the English Language?

See results

My Bird Design -- an Owl

A Popular YouTube Video About English Idioms - "All..."

Source

What do You Think?

It's such fun to hear from people all round the world - it never ceases to please and amaze me, sitting at my computer in London, and getting messages from every continent in the World .

So Please tell us all what you think: about English, about birds, reptiles and other creatures, or even about world events - just leave your mark.

© 2012 Diana Grant

Please leave your comments here - I would love you to tell me you have visited

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    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi some of these are new to me. Fun, I enjoyed it.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Saw a few I hadn't heard before. Fun lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      always learn something here

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      Pinned to my colorful speech board - I totally enjoyed this lens.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Certainly a lot of familiar quote here. My favorite has always been: Grab the bull by the horns.

    • profile image

      cmadden 

      5 years ago

      I enjoyed this! Your crocodile poem made me smile - rather Ogden Nash-ish.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 

      6 years ago

      I love looking for cool birds and reptiles

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