Welcome to part two of cat idioms! If you haven’t read it yet, you can find part one right here, where we discussed five commonly-used cat idioms. It was such a hit, that we decided to make a part two. The internet loves cats, and I do too!
In fact, anything animal-related always seems to go down a treat with our students. As Intrepid English Learners will know, we run a weekly competition in the Intrepid English Community, where you can earn achievement badges and points to buy Intrepid English lessons. Our pets competition, where students posted a picture of their pet and told us a little bit about them, was one of our most successful competitions to date. Students and teachers shared stories about their dogs, cats, and even a gecko!
Today we’ll take a look at five more cat idioms and their meanings. Try to use them in your English conversations this week. Or why not drop a comment in the Intrepid English Community and practise with the friendly Intrepid English Learners and Teachers!
1. The cat’s whiskers/ cat’s pyjamas
Something awesome, great, wonderful, fantastic, is the cat’s whiskers. On the other side of the pond, you might also hear the cat’s pyjamas used. This is similar to another common fun idiom – the bee’s knees.
“My new computer is the cat’s pyjamas. I’m so pleased with it. It was really worth the investment.”
“The band at the bar last night were the cat’s whiskers! They deserve a record deal.”
2. Grinning like a Cheshire cat
Fans of Alice in Wonderland may recall this slightly scary-looking character with a wide, toothy smile. When you smile like a Cheshire cat, you have a huge smile on your face and look very happy.
“You’re grinning like a Cheshire cat! What’s happened?”
“She was grinning like a Cheshire cat when she opened her gift on Christmas day. I’m so glad she liked it!”
Bonus idiom: The idiom ‘to get lost down a rabbit hole‘ is also used in Alice in Wonderland, and features in our Essential English Idioms course.
3. Have kittens
This is an expression meaning to be extremely anxious, nervous or stressed and to freak out because of it.
“My Dad is going to have kittens when he sees my tattoo. I’m not looking forward to telling him.”
“Grandma was having kittens when you weren’t back by 11pm last night. Where were you?”
4. Let the cat out of the bag
This is an idiom which means to reveal a secret. Once ‘the cat is out of the bag’, everyone knows! This idiom is believed to have originated in the 15th century.
“Don’t tell Tim about the surprise party. He’s so bad at keeping secrets. He’ll undoubtedly let the cat out of the bag!”
“I am getting the twins a playhouse for their birthday. I want it to be a surprise, so please don’t let the cat out of the bag.”
5. Fight like cat and dog
Whilst there is plenty of evidence to suggest that cats and dogs for the main part actually get on pretty well, this idiom is often used to describe two people who have frequent aggressive arguments, disagreements or even physical fights.
“Despite the fact that they are twins, my brothers can never see eye to eye, and often fight like cat and dog.”
“They fought like cat and dog when they were kids, but they get on like a house on fire now that they’re adults!”
Now, check your understanding. Fill in the space below with the correct cat idiom.
1. Jake and Zara have very opposing political views and always ____________.
2. Unfortunately, somebody _______ about the company having to make some cuts. Now everyone is running around like headless chickens!
3. Oliver was ______ in the plane on the way to do his skydive. He has a severe fear of heights.
4. Intrepid English is the best English school I’ve ever experienced. It’s ____________. 😉
5. After receiving first prize in the competition, she was ___________.
Read all about the Intrepid English Teacher’s and Learner’s pets by joining the Intrepid English Community. Did you know you can become a member for as little as £29/month? As well as access to the Intrepid English Community, weekly competitions, Academy courses and the brand new Audio Courses, that also includes one-to-one classes with an Intrepid English Teacher of your choice.
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This content was written and recorded by Intrepid English Teacher Kate B.
You can find out more about Kate B on her Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.
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