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Dogs and Monkeys in English Proverbs and Sayings

Updated on March 29, 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

There are a large number of English Proverbs and Sayings about Dogs and Monkeys

In order to understand the finer points of the English language, Students of English need to know as many English proverbs and sayings as possible; this way they will learn to speak English like a native. People whose home language is English, which of course includes American English, use figurative language, including metaphors, proverbs and aphorisms all the time.

Here are all the expressions and sayings I can think of which relate to Dogs and Monkeys. If you can think of any more, do tell me, by leaving a comment on the Guest Book near the end of this page, and I can then add them to the list.


Sayings and Proverbs About Dogs

  1. Dog in the manger - You can't have it so you won't let anyone else have it either
  2. Dog tired - Very tired
  3. Dog eat dog - Acting ruthlessly to get what you want
  4. Dirty Dog - A cheat
  5. Dogged with bad luck - Burdened with bad luck
  6. Dressed up like a dog's dinner - Overdressed or dressed up flamboyantly
  7. The tail wagging the dog - The subordinate telling the boss what to do
  8. A dog fight - A fight between war planes
  9. It's a Dog's Life - It's a rotten life
  10. The Hair of the Dog (or The Hair of the Dog That Bit You) - An alcoholic drink taken the morning after a drinking session



Proverbs and Sayings About Monkeys

  1. If you pay peanuts, you'll get monkeys - If you pay a low price you don't get a good job
  2. Cold enough to freeze the brass balls off a monkey - Very cold
  3. Monkey brain - Somebody silly
  4. The three wise monkeys - Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil - observe but don't say anything about it
  5. Monkeying about - Messing about
  6. Up to Monkey tricks - Being cheeky or sly
  7. He has a monkey on his back - He's an addict

Monkeys and Apes are The Closest Species to Humans

And yet they are often portrayed

in proverbs and sayings as

stupid, incompetent and otherwise highly suspect.

Why are they stereotyped?

Are we projecting our own failings on to

these highly intelligent and lovable animals?

Take This Poll: Cats, Dogs and Monkeys - How Do You Match Up Against the Other Pollsters?

If I had to choose between Cats, Dogs and Monkeys, and had them all lined up in front of me, I would be tempted to choose monkeys, because they are so fascinating and expressive.

However, if I actually had to look after a pet, I would choose a cat, because they are much easier to care for and I love their independence. I do like dogs too, but they are hard work, with their walkies, and constant demands for affection.

And for cleanliness I would definitely choose a cat - they are self-cleansing and unobtrusive in their toilet habits, whereas monkeys go anywhere, and dogs seem to prefer the back garden - yuk!

Which do you prefer, cats, dogs or monkeys?

See results

About the Writer, Diana Grant

I like animals, especially cats, dogs and monkeys

When I was a child living in Africa, we had a succession of pets, including monkeys, a baboon, a bush baby, a duck, a cat and two dogs.

These are my pets in the photograph above. I adored them, and used to dress up my dog in dolls' clothes. She was very affectionate, and I think she enjoyed the attention.

But living in sub-tropical Southern Africa had its dangers - snakes were a threat, as were malarial mosquitoes, bilharzia bugs, jigger fleas, and rather nasty scorpions and spiders with poisonous bites.

Me With Our Cat and Dog

Please Say Hallo - it's Always Good to See Who Has Visited - Can You Think of More Proverbs or Sayings?

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    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Erin Mellor: I'm a Londoner. I hadn't heard of the first one. And the second one - well I wish I hadn't heard of it!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      I'm English so maybe you don't have "Fit as a butchers dog" - very fit as fed on high grade protein. I'm afraid dogging it means something entirely different in England, and you should never tell anyone you're dogging at work. Under any circumstances. Ever.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @David Stone1: Good one!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      More fun than a barrel of monkeys - riotously fun.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      Dogging it - not making an effort at work

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Gypzeerose: I did actually have a monkey, when I was a child, and still have the monkey-bite scar on my finger to prove it. Not his fault, I hasten to say - he thought I was trying to steal his peanuts, when actually I was trying to stroke him whilst he was eatiing.....I learnt the hard way that you stay away from animals whilst they are eating - A good lesson. He was adorable, and very affectionate.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Pinned to my colorful speech board - I do enjoy these lenses! "Monkeying about" - that is a great phrase. There is a song called "If I had a million dollars" with these words: "If I had a million dollars I would buy a monkey - haven't you always wanted a MONKEY?"

    • mechanicaleye profile image

      Mech 5 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      Great lens, thanks for sharing. Can't really think of a proverb that you don't have here - great job!

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 5 years ago

      That was a fun read!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Ha, I can imagine what my friends would think of me if I told them that I let the cat out of the bag. Hey! What are you doing putting a cat in a bag? Which cat??

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 6 years ago

      Cracking lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      Fun lens!

    • Snakesmom profile image

      Snakesmom 6 years ago

      I loved the animal quiz, what fun!

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      All animals are beautiful creatures.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      I love your kitten (jealous lol). Used to have a magnificent tortoise shell and simply adore them. I took the quiz but really cats and dogs are my favoritie. Never had a monkey. I am featuring this on Pets Health.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @BuckHawkcenter: I've just thought of another - putting the cat amongs the pigeons, which I will add later

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 7 years ago from Sweden

      I love all animals really. But have a special feeling for cats. I have a lens called "I love cats" even.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      I tried to think of a saying you didn't have here and couldn't, ergo, pretty complete list.