I found these cool common, animal idioms, and wanted to give you a chance to learn how to pronounce these English idioms correctly, and to understand when to use them.  At the same time, you get more accent reduction practise  material.

Accent reduction practise - English Pronunciation idioms

Credit Analytical Grammar/Grammar Planet


Accent Reduction Practise- 12 English Idioms

1. Night owl a person who is habitually active or wakeful at night.

He’s a real night owl! He parties most nights till the early hours (of the morning).

2. Scaredy – cat – a timid person.

Don’t be such a scaredy cat! That dog won’t hurt you. He’s very gentle.

3. Average bear – A comparative phrase meaning more/less, better/worse, etc., than the average person or thing. Originates from the American animated character Yogi Bear, whose catchphrase is that he is “smarter than the average bear.”

She climbed Everest last year, so she’s definitely tougher than the average bear.

4. High horse – a term to infer that someone is acting pompous, superior to others or self- righteous.

I think you can get off your high horse now. I saw you smoking behind the house, so don’t pretend that you  think your brother should stop smoking!

5. Busy bee – hardworking, industrious, busy person.

She’s such a busy bee she can’t even find time to have a coffee with me.

6. Social butterfly – social butterfly is someone who is social or friendly with everyone, flitting (going from) from person to person, the way a butterfly might fly from flower to flower.

I didn’t realise they were such social butterflies. They’re always out visiting people all weekend.

7. Fish out of water – If you feel like a fish out of water, you do not feel comfortable or relaxed because you are in an unusual or unfamiliar situation. 

He felt like a fish out of water in his new school.

8. Eager beaver – a keen and enthusiastic person who works very hard.

You’re an eager beaver! You got here an hour before everyone else.

9. Sitting duck – a person or thing with no protection against an attack or other source of danger.

Those soldiers out in the middle of the field are sitting ducks.

10. Cold turkey – the abrupt and complete cessation of taking a drug to which one is addicted,  or to stop doing something in a sudden and abrupt manner. 

I don’t know how she did it. She went cold turkey after so many years of drug addiction.

Just like that! He quit cold turkey, even though he loved surfing.

11. Stool pigeon a person, often a criminal, who gives information in secret to the police so that they can catch other criminals, or a person acting as a decoy.

That stool pigeon the police planted better watch out, or he’ll be in big trouble.

12. Hornet’s nest – a very difficult or unpleasant situation, especially in which a lot of people get very angry and complain

Their remarks about women not being as good company leaders as men, stirred up a real hornet’s nest!

For more idiom and accent reduction practise, click here as well.

Best wishes, Esther

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