Animal Idioms

Horse-Related Expressions

Horsing around
Chomping at the bit
Unbridled passion
Kicking up her heels
Getting your kicks
High-tailing it
Feeling his oats
Hot to trot*
Italian stallion
Stud, studly
Horse power
Straight from the horse's mouth
Pony up to the bar*
Tossing your mane
Horse sense
Hold your horses!
Whoa! Giddy-up!
Riding off into the sunset
Happy trails
Back in the saddle
Saddled with 2 kids [burdened]
Keeping a tight rein on him
Reining him in
Being given free rein
Got a hair under your tail? [in driving, getting a hair between the crupper and tail really gets them!]**
You have blinders on**
Back in harness**
Hot around the collar** (harness horse)
Getting hitched**
Carting someone around
Putting the cart before the horse
I couldn't get off the horse! [can't resolve or complete a task]
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
A Trojan horse
Now that's a horse of a different color
You can't switch horses midstream
Out to pasture
Mares' tails [clouds]
My Kingdom for a horse!
Well, I'll be a horse's ass
Don't get on your high horse with me!
Grazer [someone who eats all day long]
Eating like a horse
I could eat a horse
To beat a dead horse
He has a lot of girth
Hoofer [dancer]
Hoofing it [walking]
You old nag
I'm on my hobby horse again [on my soapbox, repeating myself]
In your stable [for example, to have 5 authors in your stable]
A dark-horse candidate [a long shot]
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink
Wild horses couldn't drive me away
Get a leg up on the competition
He's a fine piece of horse flesh
A little long in the tooth
Off my feed [not feeling well]
Spur of the moment***
Spurring him on
A rough ride
Riding it out
Riding someone, getting on someone [nagging, harassing]
Get off my back!
Charley horse
Dangling the carrot
Horse feathers!
A real workhorse
To plow through your work
To get back on the horse
You let the horse out of the barn
Clothes horse
Is that what you're bucking for? [trying to get]
A pony keg [small keg of beer]
Donkey or mule expressions
Stubborn as a mule
You jack-ass!
She kicks ass
A kick-ass stereo
Nice piece of ass
Asshole and other variations on the theme
Racehorse expressions
On the fast-track
To have an inside-track
Down to the wire
Comes from behind
The home stretch
He's in the money
In the running
Jockeying for position
Jockey shorts
Nose to nose
Ahead of the pack
Winning hands down**** [comes from jockey who wins without having to raise a hand to whip]
I don't have a horse in that race**** [not invested in. . .]
*Compliments of Phillip Lim, San Francisco
**Compliments of Marty Brookman
***Compliments of Karen Henderson, Hayward
****Compliments of Mike Crowley, Albany

Horse Euphemisms
He's mouthy / he's lippy [HE BITES]
He's not good with his feet [HE KICKS] -- Karen F. O'Loughlin
He lacks impulsion [HE WON'T GO]
He's a handfull [HE IS OUT OF CONTROL]
Great endurance prospect [CAN'T STOP HIM, CAN'T TURN HIM. MAYBE A 50-MILE RIDE WILL IRON OUT THE BUGS] -- Reb Bentley
Needs an advanced rider [BUCKS, BITES, KICKS AND/OR REARS]
He needs better ground manners [HE'S RUNNING ALL OVER YOU]
He has lots of brio [HE IS SCARED OUT OF HIS MIND]
He spooks all the time [HE DOESN'T TRUST YOU]
He's a rogue horse [HE'S BEEN ABUSED BY HUMANS]
He's head shy [HE'S BEEN HIT ON THE FACE]
He's just having fun [HE WANTS YOU OFF HIS BACK]
Get after him [BEAT ON HIM]
Is he off? [IS HE LAME?]
He has lots of suspension [BOUNCES LIKE HELL]
"I've been around horses all my life." [ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN; STEER CLEAR!]
"I need to move him" [SELL HIM BEFORE HE GETS TOO LAME]

Expressions Originally Invented by (or commonly used by) Horses
Better safe than sorry
The grass is greener on the other side
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Let me be the judge of that

Dog-Related Expressions
Top dog
It's a dog-eat-dog world
Doggone it!
Howling at the moon
Licking your wounds
I'm in the doghouse
Dog days
Canines [teeth]
A dog's life
Dog days
Dogging it [avoiding it]
Barking up the wrong tree
His bark is worse than his bite
Sniffing it out
A watchdog agency
Putting on the dog
Hot dog, hot dogging
You dirty dog
Puppy love
Like a bitch in heat
Son of a bitch
Dog-eared [book]
Hounding someone
You old hound dog
Setting loose the hounds on someone
He crawled back with his tail between his legs
That's the tail wagging the dog
She's a bitch
In the doghouse
Dog tired
Put a muzzle on it [shut up]
Raised my hackles
Bone of contention
Make no bones about it
Throw him a few bones
My dogs are barking [my feet hurt]

Cow-Related Expressions
Grab the bull by the horns
Like a bull in a china closet
Bull's eye
Bullish, bully
Bull nosed
You heifer
Chewing your cud [thinking]
Cowboy, cowgirl, cowpoke, cowtown
Cattle call
Out until the cows come home
You Nellie Bell
A Ferdinand
I'll have your hide, I'll tan your hide
Branded for life
Milking it for all it's worth
As useless as tits on a bull
How now brown cow
Making cow eyes
Don't have a cow
Where's the beef?
What's your beef?; to have a beef with
To beef it up

Cat-Related Expressions
black cat [bad luck]
You let the cat out of the bag
Cat got your tongue?
The cat's meow
Cat eyes
Cat's paw [a small crowbar]
Cat's cradle
Catting around all night
You pussycat
He's a pussy
Pussyfooting around
Raining cats and dogs
Fighting like cats and dogs
Playing cat and mouse
Cat burglar
A cat can look at a king
It would have made a cat laugh
Rubbed him the wrong way
A hissing fit
To land on one's feet
Curiosity killed the cat
Only a cat has 9 lives
Cat-9-nine tails [torture device]
She purred with satisfaction
More than one way to skin a cat
Curiosity killed the cat
Copy cat


ASS idioms

Ass Idioms

out to pasture
When should people be put out to pasture? Do you want to retire young or keep working when you’re old?
...After working for 50 years as a banker, Jim decided it was time to put himself out to pasture.
...All the critics said the model should go out to pasture after she had a baby.
...The author published 25 books then decided to put her characters out to pasture.