Animal metaphors carry much psychological meaning and linguistic freight in our lives. A single animal term can be a short-cut to significant communication.Indeed, unfortunately people sometimes kill over some of these terms! For fun I've listed below a few examples of how the beasts in us and around us can carry so much of our emotional and cognitive meaning and our communications. This is a short non-exhaustive list, with no particular order! Please add to it:
You're an animal, you're a beast! Don't badger me. You're badgering the witness. Wise as an owl. I smell a skunk. I smell a rat. Stubborn like a mule. Eats like a pig. 'Fraidy cat. Birdbrain. I pigged out. You made a monkey out of me. Eagle-eyed. She's gone ape. They chickened out. A Mafia gorilla. Loan shark. Stool pigeon. Singing like a canary. Pigeon-holed. Hen pecked. Dogged persistence. Graceful as a swan. Something fishy about this. Wolfs down his food. Ferocious as a lion. Memory like an elephant. A war hawk. A peace dove. A CIA mole. A fly on the wall. Drunk as a skunk. A night owl. Do it for a lark. Doggy style. Crow about it. Bull****. Horse****. Timid as a mouse. Snake eyes. When pigs fly. Making a bee-line. Bottom feeder. Morning people/larks versus night people/owls. Snake-oil salesman. Swan song. Dog days. Goosed. Like a bull in a china shop. Cat got your tongue? Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, must be a duck. Gentle as a lamb. Lazy like a sloth. He gets my goat. He had to eat crow. Hare-brained. She parrots everything I say. Horse sense. Lucky rabbits foot. A fox knows many things, a hedgehog only knows one thing. The 900 pound gorilla in the room. Mad as a March hare. Crazy as a loon. He's a snake. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Sly like a fox. Foxy lady. That handsome silver fox. Hogs the show. You maggot! Weasel words! You swine! A corporate vulture. A blood-sucking corporate leech. A piranha. A toady. Frog in my throat. Who's ox is being gored? Busy as a bee. Dumb as a dodo bird. Taming of the shrew. Crazy as a bat. The lion's share. Snail-mail. The elephant in the room. To ape someone. Cuckoo, cuckoo! Try to worm your way out of this. A drug mule. Laughs like a hyena. He's a shrimp. Newt (well-known politician...). I am totally buffaloed. Changes like a chameleon. Bunny-hop. Dumb like a fox. Make an ass of yourself. You're like an ostrich with its head in the sand. Beaver. Looney-bin. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Democratic Donkey. Republican Elephant. Take this, you dirty rat, you little cockroach!