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Birds, Reptiles and Creatures in English Proverbs and Sayings

Updated on October 11, 2014
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

Meet Birds, Reptiles and Creepy Crawlies - Proverbs and Sayings!

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.

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 find many helpful phrases which will help you to improve your Englsih in an enjoyable way.

Image: Crow by Diana Grant of Glorious Confusion

Proverbs and Sayings About Birds:

He chickened out - he dropped out because he was afraid

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

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

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

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

A Coast Garter Snake
A Coast Garter Snake | 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

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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 wrote this little poem:

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

Honey Bee extracting nectar
Honey Bee extracting nectar | 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 - - 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

Some of my Animal Designs on Zazzle:

An Owl and a Cat

This is an Owl iPad Cover I designed on Zazzle -

you can buy it by following the link below

iPhone Case - Metal Owl on a Black Background Iphone 3 Cases

by GloriousConfusion

A Ginger Tabby Cat:

Striped Cat Canvas Bag

by GloriousConfusion

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

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 4 years ago from Alabama USA

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

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 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 5 years ago

      I love looking for cool birds and reptiles