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Expressions with Bear, Lion and Monkey

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A BEAR OF A  (difficult, unpleasant) problem, dilemma, winter

  • He travelled and left me with a bear of a difficult problem, to pay all his bills.

A BEAR GARDEN

(a dirty and loud place)

  • It used to be a nice public square, but it became a bear garden.

A BEAR HUG

(a strong and warm hug)

  • He was so glad to see me after so many years that he gave me a bear hug.

A BEAR MARKET

(when the stock prices are on the low side)

  • He profited a lot when he bought shares at the bear market.

    AS HUNGRY AS A BEAR

    (famished, very hungry)

    • He is an athlete and always as hungry as a bear.

    LIKE A BEAR WITH A SORE HEAD

    (to be in a bad humour, grumpy)

    • Don’t go to see the boss now, he is like a bear with a sore head.

    THE LION’S SHARE

     (The best part)

    • They were five heirs, but John got the lion’s share.

    LION-HEARTED

    (to be quite courageous)

    • He is lion-hearted and volunteered to go to war.

    A LION IN THE WAY; A LION IN THE PATH

    (an imaginary danger or difficulty)

    • Mary sees a lion in the way, because she is a very pessimistic person.

      TO PUT ONE’S HEAD IN THE LION’S MOUTH

      (to expose oneself to danger in a reckless manner)

      • Hiding the thief you are putting your head in the lion’s mouth.

      TO THROW SOMEONE TO THE LIONS

       (to leave someone in a vulnerable situation)

      • John knew of the danger, but threw his friend to the lions.

      TO TWIST THE LION’S TAIL 

      (to badmouth the UK)

      • Never twist the lion’s tail if you want to be her friend.

        MONKEY-BUSINESS
        (dodgy or dishonest business)

        • He is not a reliable person, he is always involved in some monkey business.

        TO PLAY MONKEY TRICKS ON SOMEONE
        (to play pranks on someone)

        School children like to play monkey tricks on their teachers

        MONKEY NUT
        (peanut)

        • Don’t forget to buy monkey nuts for the cocktail party.

        TO GET ONE’S MONKEY UP
        (to get angry)

        • He got my monkey up with his silly behavior.

        HAVE A MONKEY ON ONE’S BACK
        (to be dependent on illicit drugs)

        • Her youngest son has a monkey on his back.

        TO MAKE A MONKEY OF SOMEONE
        (to mock someone)

        • She mimicked his gait and made a monkey of him.

        TO MONKEY AROUND
        (to be idle, to horse around, to do nothing, to loiter)

        • He is so lazy, all he does is to monkey around.

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