Feb 23

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Animal Idioms – Beef, chicken & duck

Do you know any animal idioms? There are quite a few in English and they come up quite often in everyday conversation. Idioms are phrases whose meaning is different from the words that make it up.

Animal idioms use the name of an animal to talk about something that has not always much to do with the animal itself or its qualities.





Beef_ OZphotographyhave a beef with somebody/something

to have a problem with something

I have no problem with advertising in general, but I have a beef with ads for kids.

What’s your beef? = What’s your problem?

to beef something up

to make something better or more interesting

I’m going to beef up my presentation with a video I made in Hong Kong.

Chicken_khunaspixto chicken out of something

to decide not to do something because you are afraid

Sue was planning to try bungee-jumping for the first time this summer, but she chickened out in the end.

a chicken-and-egg situation

a situation in which it is difficult to tell which one of two things caused the other

I don’t know if he’s angry because Sarah doesn’t talk to him or if Sarah doesn’t like to talk to him because he’s always in a bad mood. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation.

animal idiomsto duck down

to move your head or body downward to avoid being hit or seen

Duck down or he’ll see you!

to take to something like a duck to water

to get used to something very easily, without problems

Peter has taken to skiing like a duck to water. He’s really good at it too!


Watch the video and find the animal idiom in it. This is a special animal idiom because it uses the name of the meat made from this animal. Got it? Scroll down to see if your answer is correct.


ANSWER to video question:

I have no beef with you! = I have no problem with you.



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