ANIMAL FEVER

Are Bees Really THAT Busy? Learn the Origin of 10 Animal-Inspired Idioms.


Published on June 30, 2024


Credit: Unsplash+

Have you ever felt like you're "holding your horses" or wondered why someone would "let the cat out of the bag"? Animal idioms infuse our language with vivid imagery and humor. Their origin and the meaning behind them can be quite obscure at times, so they leave us thinking.

But you have nothing to worry about, we’ve got you covered. We’re ready to uncover the meaning behind ten idioms that include animals . Are you prime as a panther? Read on and find out!

1

Straight from the Horse's Mouth

Credit: Silje Midtgård

Picture this: You're at the bustling racetrack, eagerly listening for insider tips on the next winning horse. Suddenly, a grizzled old gambler leans in and whispers, "I heard it straight from the horse's mouth." Confused? Don't worry; this idiom simply means receiving information directly from the most reliable or authoritative source.

Its origin dates back to horse trading, where buyers would inspect a horse's teeth to determine its age and health. Thus, hearing something "straight from the horse's mouth" became synonymous with obtaining trustworthy information.

If you want to use it in a sentence, you can say: "I don't need to second-guess; I heard it straight from the horse's mouth that the project deadline has been extended."

2

Kill Two Birds with One Stone

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Now, imagine yourself as a skilled stone thrower, aiming at two birds perched on a fence. With a single, well-aimed toss, you manage to strike both birds simultaneously . You've "killed two birds with one stone." That’s for the literal meaning. Its origins trace back to ancient hunting practices, where hunters would aim to maximize their success by downing multiple targets with one stone.

Thus, this idiom represents efficiency, describing the accomplishment of two tasks with a single action. For example, "By scheduling our meeting during lunch, we can kill two birds with one stone, discuss the project and enjoy a meal together."

3

Let the Cat Out of the Bag

Credit: Mikhail Vasilyev

Ever been in a situation where a friend accidentally spills a well-guarded secret? In that case, you might say, "You've let the cat out of the bag!" This idiom refers to mistakenly revealing confidential information.

Its origins lie in medieval marketplaces, where merchants would often deceive unsuspecting buyers by substituting valuable items with less desirable ones, like a cat in place of a piglet, hidden inside a bag. When the cat was exposed, the deception was revealed.

In a sentence, you might use it like this: "I was planning a surprise party for Sarah, but someone let the cat out of the bag, and now she knows."

4

A Fish Out of Water

Credit: Kyaw Tun

Imagine a fish flopping helplessly on dry land, desperately gasping for water. This image perfectly captures the essence of feeling out of place or uncomfortable in a particular situation, akin to being "a fish out of water."

The idiom originated from the literal struggle of fish removed from their natural habitat, highlighting the discomfort experienced when someone is in an unfamiliar environment.

Take this as an example: "As an introvert attending a loud party, I felt like a fish out of water; I just wanted to be home alone."

5

Hold Your Horses

Credit: Florin Beudean

These animals get more than one idiom because that’s how complex they are. In this case, you might picture them revving up to race your trusty steed, but before you can even shout "giddy-up," someone yells, "Hold your horses!" Yes, that’s what the classic phrase means.

Whether you are itching to jump the gun or charging ahead full steam, sometimes you just need to hold your horses. It’s all about taking a moment to pause, catch your breath, and maybe even rethink your game plan. When you’re raging to go, remember to rein it in and hold your horses; it might just save you from a wild outburst!

6

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Credit: Bryan Hanson

Are you the kind of person who is up at the crack of dawn while the rest of the world is still snoozing away? You’re probably out there, seizing the day like a champ, and you snag yourself a juicy worm before anyone else even rolls out of bed. That’s an early bird catching the worm in action.

This idiom means being proactive, jumping on opportunities before they slip away and before everyone else does . So, next time you’re debating hitting that snooze button, remember that the early bird gets the worms. Try and see; maybe you score more than just breakfast!

7

Like a Bull in a China Shop

Credit: Hilde Demeester

So, you are strolling through a quaint little china shop, marveling at delicate teacups and ornate figurines displayed on fragile shelves. Suddenly, a hulking bull bursts through the door, horns scraping against delicate porcelain, and chaos begins.

That’s the essence of the idiom "like a bull in a china shop." It is about someone who is as graceful as, well, a bull in a china shop: clumsy, reckless, and totally lacking finesse.

Think of it as trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube with a sledgehammer; you’ll get the job done, but the collateral damage can be hefty. Here’s an example: "John barged into the meeting like a bull in a china shop, completely disrupting the delicate negotiations."

8

Busy as a Bee

Credit: Roberto Lopez

Have you ever noticed bees at work? The buzzing hive, bees zipping around like they’ve got places to be and honey to make. That is exactly what it means to be "busy as a bee." These little guys are the ultimate multitaskers, flitting from flower to flower, collecting nectar, and building honeycombs like experts.

Being "busy as a bee" means you are hustling, juggling a bunch of tasks like a pro. So, next time you’ve got a million things on your plate, channel your inner bee and get buzzing. Who knows? You might just make some sweet honey along the way.

9

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Credit: Milo Weiler

Imagine you’re out in the pasture, chilling with your fluffy sheep pals when, suddenly, you spot a sneaky wolf among them. Yep, you read that right, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This idiom is all about folks who pretend to be something they are not, like Mr. Wolf here trying to blend in with the wooly crew.

It’s like finding out your friendly neighbor is actually a secret agent -totally unexpected. So, next time you spot someone acting all sweet and innocent, keep an eye out for those hidden fangs. You never know when you’ll spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

10

A Leopard Can't Change Its Spots

Credit: CHUTTERSNAP

Let’s talk about leopards now. Majestic creatures, right? Picture one prowling through the jungle, its sleek coat dotted with distinctive spots. Now, despite what those motivational posters might tell you, that leopard isn’t changing its spots anytime soon.

This idiom is all about the idea that people can’t fundamentally change who they are , no matter how hard they try. It’s like expecting a goldfish to do calculus; it ain’t gonna happen!

So, next time your buddy promises they have turned over a new leaf, take it with a grain of salt. After all, a leopard can’t change its spots, and your friend probably can’t either.


SOUNDTRACK OF A GENERATION

10 Legendary Albums And Their Secret Backstories


Published on June 30, 2024


Credit: blocks

Embark on a journey through the corridors of music history as we unveil the captivating tales behind some of the most iconic albums of the past decades. From legendary bands to solo ventures, each of these albums has a secret story that, in one way or another, contributed to their legacy in the annals of music.

Join us as we explore the lesser-known struggles behind these 10 timeless classics.

1

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

Credit: Kreepin Deth, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Beatles' groundbreaking album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was born out of their desire to reinvent themselves at a point in their career where being The Beatles was becoming an increasingly dangerous (and tiresome) job.

Band members were in fear of their own fans, to the point where the lyrics of "With A Little Help From My Friends" originally said "What would you do if I sang out of tune? / Would you stand up and throw tomatoes at me?" but was changed because Ringo believed that would just be asking for tomatoes to the face.

2

The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

Credit: Stephen Harlan

Pink Floyd's magnum opus, "The Dark Side of the Moon," was initially conceived as an exploration of the pressures musicians had to face within the industry. A series of interviews with the staff that worked at Abbey Road Studios were recorded - they even interviewed Paul McCartney! However, the thematic scope was ultimately expanded to delve into the more universal themes of madness, mortality, and the human condition.

The album was a huge success, and interestingly 10% of the proceeds from it were donated by the band to help fund British comedy troupe Monty Python.

3

Thriller - Michael Jackson

Credit: Call Me Fred

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" became a cultural phenomenon, solidifying his status as the King of Pop. However, making the legendary album was no walk in the park.

When the nine songs that would be released in the final version were finished, both Jackson and his producer were still dissatisfied with the results. They decided to go back to the studio and remix each song again until everything was perfect, a process that took over two months of intense work. But the effort was certainly worth it because the album not only shattered records but also helped transcend racial and cultural barriers in the music industry.

4

Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

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Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" is a testament to the power of music amidst personal turmoil. Despite a number of soap opera-level internal conflicts and romantic entanglements within the band, they managed to stay focused and channel their emotions into a timeless masterpiece. Given the conditions, the entire album could have easily been a trainwreck, but the result was a piece so raw and powerful that it quickly became one of their most beloved releases.

5

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

Credit: Chen

Before "Born to Run," Springsteen was an up-and-coming troubadour of the American Dream, still a long way from becoming "The Boss." Drawing from his blue-collar spirit and folk influences, his 1975 release was acclaimed by fans and critics alike, positioning alongside the rock greats, such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Bob Dylan.

The album, filled with anthemic songs and cinematic storytelling, resonated deeply with a generation that grew up longing for escape and redemption. In fact, the legend of Springsteen’s perfectionism was likely born during the recording of the album, as the title song alone took more than six months to finish!

6

Abbey Road - The Beatles

Credit: Michael Heise

The Beatles' swan song, "Abbey Road," marked the culmination of their musical evolution. Although the tensions between band members were almost to the point of no return - for the promotional video, each Beatle was filmed separately - they managed to set aside their differences and create a collective masterpiece. Allegedly, the band’s longtime producer, George Martin, initially refused to participate in the album but was ultimately coaxed by the band into working with them one more time.

7

Hotel California - Eagles

Credit: Julian Myles

Eagles' "Hotel California" epitomizes the excesses and lingering disillusionment of the 1970s California rock scene. With its haunting lyrics and mesmerizing guitar solos, the album captured the zeitgeist of its era, earning it a place in rock music history. Amusingly, lead guitarist Don Felder almost forgot the chords for the titular song, as more than a year had passed since he first recorded it, and the band had to call his housekeeper in Malibu to blast the original cassette recording through the phone until they could reconstruct it.

8

Purple Rain - Prince

Credit: Gary Leonard

Prince's "Purple Rain" was more than just an album, it was an ambitious crossover between cinema, music, and real life. Blending genres and exploring cultural taboos, Purple Rain served to showcase Prince’s virtuosity as a musician and enigmatic persona. Proof of the intense commitment that the project demanded, all band members were forced to take dancing classes before filming, and one of the lead actresses came perilously close to hospitalization due to hypothermia after shooting a scene on an ice-cold lake in Minnesota.

9

Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones

Credit: Jim Pietryga, CC BY-SA 4.0

A gritty and raw portrayal of life on the edge, and despite receiving mostly lukewarm reviews from the critics, The Rolling Stones’ "Sticky Fingers" was a huge commercial success - and proved that the band could still push forward and reinvent itself after the tragic events of the 1969 Altamont concert. From Andy Warhol’s provocative cover to the bluesy riffs, the whole album was a celebration of the rock and roll culture of excess and defiance.

10

Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys

Credit: Stephen Harlan

When The Beach Boys - a band mostly known for their sunny and carefree lyrics - released "Pet Sounds," an album filled with intricate arrangements and introspective lyrics, few could contain their surprise. The label was convinced it was going to flop, and wanted the songs to go in a different, more easygoing, direction. The change in trajectory, however, was quite deliberate on the part of the band, as they even hired a copywriter to help give the album’s lyrics more depth. Luckily, Brian Wilson’s genius prevailed and the release went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time.

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