Why do Rabbits Appear in Idioms?
Rabbits have inspired so many expressions and phrases that form part of our everyday language.
And while it is a fact that many rabbit related idioms can be complimentary, others can be somewhat derogatory; they unquestionably come with a diverse range of meanings.
These varied meanings should not be so surprising, after all, while most people's initial reaction is to think of a cute little furry creature that you want to hug. Others among us may recall rabbits portrayed as frantic, a bit loopy or silly. They provide a mechanism that allows us to express a wide range of thoughts covering a broad spectrum of our lives.
An idiom helps to make our speech more expressive and colourful. When you use such a phrase in everyday language, then it has a different meaning than the underlying meaning or definition of the words, as found in a dictionary.
An idiom often mentioned when discussing salads.
Example sentence: "My brother says that salads are so bland and tasteless - they are for rabbits."
Like a Rabbit Caught in the Headlights
Meaning: an idiom that describes the feeling of being frightened or startled to such an extent that you cannot move.
Example sentence: "Craig jumped out from behind the curtain. I was so startled that I must have looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights."
A Rabbit Trail
To say that a person or a discussion has gone off at a tangent.
Meaning: a winding trail that leads nowhere.
Example sentence: "Everything Jack said until that point made sense. But he suddenly went off on a rabbit trail, and nothing made any sense at all from then on."
A term used to say that someone is stealing, pinching - for example, "Those sailors will rabbit anything that isn't chained to the deck.
To Turn Rabbit
Meaning: to say that someone turned away in fright. Sometimes used to say that someone has pulled out - or chickened out of something.
Example sentence: "We were all committed to climbing up to the peak, but Simon turned rabbit, and we had to reconsider the whole thing."
Harmless as a Pet Rabbit
To suggest that a person is gentle and harmless.
Example sentence: "She is so sweet. I reckon she is as harmless as a rabbit."
To Hunt Two Hares
Meaning: an idiom that says a person is trying to accomplish two tasks at the same time and will not succeed in either.
Example sentence: "You can't possibly hunt two hares at the same time. You need to either focus on the task in hand or ditch it and go after the activity."
An Idiom Quiz
A can of ...?
Pour Salt on a Hares Tail
Meaning: To bluff or to threaten someone.
Example sentence: "They didn't know if they should take him seriously or not; he just kept pouring salt on the hares tail."
Pull a Rabbit Out Of The Hat
Meaning: To surprise someone by doing something they didn't think possible.
Not surprisingly, this idiom is linked to magicians tricks - to pull a rabbit out of a hat.
Example sentence: "We all thought the business would close. But management pulled the rabbit out of the hat when securing that further loan."
Meaning: This phrase describes a blow to the back of the head.
Example sentence: "I was holding my own against those thugs. But then I was hit by a rabbit punch and, it all went downhill from then."
Jack Rabbit Start
Meaning: To spring into action, or to start something suddenly from a standstill.
Example: "We were in a real hurry to get to the airport on time. But we were running so late that by the time we had packed the car, we had to get jack-rabbit start as we left the driveway."
Buy the Rabbit
To suggest that a person is unsuccessful or has suffered a misfortune.
Example sentence: "I thought that antique watch was the real thing. However, it was a fake, and I bought a rabbit with that one."
Why not try out these Idiom tests - just for fun...... - just fill in the missing word
Like water of a ............back
Run With the Hare and Hunt With the Hounds.
An expression used when saying that you support both sides of an argument.
Example sentence: I understand what you are saying, but I also respect what Henry has to say on the subject. I'm afraid that I must run with the hare and hunt with the hounds on this matter."
As Mad as a March Hare
To say that a person is crazy.
Example sentence: "I don't why he did that. He is obviously as mad as a March Hare!"
Meaning: Describes a person who is hopping like a bunny.
An idiom often associated with a sporting activity, for example, a small jump carried out on a bicycle while the rider stands on the pedals.
A way of referring to the affection shown for a child or romantic partner.
Example sentence: "He's so cute, I just want him for my snuggle bunny."
Meaning: a person who collects badges.
It can be a derisory comment.
A way of describing someone who is somewhat obsessive about maintaining their physique in a gym. A person who spends a considerable amount of time working out.
An expression often said in the act of sarcasm.
Example sentence: "He's a happy bunny. Always winging and bemoaning his luck."
Quick Like a Bunny
A way of saying be quick, hurry, act without delay.
Example: That huge discount on television sets is about to end. You had better be quick like a bunny if you want to take advantage of the offer."