As most English learners know, idioms can be challenging to learn, but can have a great impact on your fluency and understanding when you know them.
It is important to give yourself time when learning idioms, and make sure that you have enough meaningful exposures to each new expression. This goes for all new vocabulary, but is especially important when it comes to idioms as it's possible that they do't even exist in your first language.
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Here are some common idioms that all share the common theme of "animals".
However, it is important to remember that this theme is only because of the words used, not because of the meaning.
1. A pet peeve
Meaning: Something that you find annoying.
"Lateness is a pet peeve of mine."
2. To watch someone like a hawk
Meaning: To watch someone very closely.
"I feel like my boss has been watching me like a hawk since I made that little mistake."
3. Straight from the horse's mouth
Meaning: Directly from the original source.
"She's definitely leaving, I heard it straight from the horse's mouth."
4. A nest egg
Meaning: A sum of money saved for the future.
"My parents have a nest egg that they are saving for retirement."
5. A dark horse
Meaning: Someone with a surprising or unexpected skill.
"He was definitely the dark horse of the competition. No one expected him to win!."
6. In the dog house
Meaning: In trouble with someone.
"I've been in the dog house with my wife since I forgot our anniversary."
(This expression is often used in a humorous way when a man angers his wife)