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Idioms about Birds: Part 2


This week we’re looking at thirty more idioms about birds. Click here to learn the thirty idioms we looked at last week.

  1. night owl – someone who stays up late, someone who functions better at night
  2. pecking order – the social hierarchy
  3. rare bird – an unusual person
  4. sitting duck – an easy target, someone who is vulnerable to target
  5. spring chicken – a young person
  6. swan song – a final work/performance before retirement/death
  7. to chicken out – to opt out of doing something due to being frightened
  8. to clip someone’s wings – to limit someone’s control/freedom
  9. to count your chickens before they’re hatched – to depend on/make plans for something that you have not yet received/that has not yet been confirmed
  10. to eat crow – to be humiliated, to admit defeat, to admit you are mistaken
  11. to eat like a bird – to eat very little
  12. to fly the coop – to escape
  13. to get your ducks in a row – to put your affairs in order
  14. to kill the goose that lays the golden egg – to destroy a valuable source of income
  15. to kill two birds with one stone – to accomplish two objectives at once
  16. to look like the cat that swallowed the canary – to look very pleased/satisfied with oneself
  17. to play chicken – to play a game in which the first person to withdraw from a frightening or dangerous situation loses
  18. to quit cold turkey – to abruptly and completely give something up
  19. to ruffle someone’s feathers – to annoy or upset someone
  20. to rule the roost – to be in charge
  21. to run around like a chicken with its head cut off – to run around frantically and aimlessly
  22. to spread your wings – to become independent/to pursue new interests and activities
  23. to take someone under your wing – to take someone into your protective care, to take someone under your guidance
  24. to talk turkey – to discuss something frankly
  25. to try out your wings – to independently do something that you have recently learned/received a qualification in
  26. to watch someone/something like a hawk – to watch someone/something very closely
  27. to wing it – to improvise
  28. ugly duckling – someone who is considered ugly or plain as a child but grows up to be beautiful
  29. what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander – what is good/appropriate in one case is also good/appropriate in the other case in question
  30. wild goose chase – a hopeless search for something that is likely unattainable

If you found this post useful, why not take a look at some of our other articles about idioms?


04 Mar 2018
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"This is a fantastic opportunity for our students!  I'm sure Spellzone will be invaluable in helping them to improve their spellings and therefore improve the quality of their writing in all subject areas!"
Teacher, High School, UK