Learn about the funniest facts of the English language.
Animals have a prominent place in language with many expressions and sounds originating from their behaviour. Here we pronounce the words, noises and expressions associated with them in English, though be warned: it’s mooving!
When somebody looks sheepish they are slightly embarrassed. If you make sheep’s eyes at somebody, you look like an amorous idiot, likewise if you follow the crowd like a flock of sheep then you are an idiot. Your doctor, who hopefully isn’t an idiot, may tell you to count sheep jumping over a fence if you suffer from insomnia.
When someone calls you a cow, you probably haven’t been very nice to them. If you have a cow in American English, you are in a bad mood, in Britain we prefer the phrase to have kittens which has a similar meaning. You should never wait until the cows come home if you’re in a hurry, because cows never come home. If you are male and you possess unusually large genitalia, people may say that you are hung like a bull. They would be talking bull or even bullshit if it weren’t true, though. In situations where there is confusion and a lack of control, it’s a good idea to take the bull by the horns even if there is no bull in sight.
Everybody knows that horses hate gossip, so when you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, it’s first-hand information. The expressions horses for courses and its less popular chiasmus courses for horses are used to refer to the fact that everyone has different needs and tastes; some racehorses perform better on certain courses, for example. It’s generally not advisable to flog a dead horse because this means you are wasting time on something that will give you nothing in return…. like when you hit a deceased horse, obviously