hunting idioms and expressions
Many idioms originated from hunting and here is a list of them with examples.
- bark up the wrong tree
meaning – pursue the wrong thing
example – I think you’re barking up the wrong tree, James is definitely gay.
- call off the dogs
meaning – stop someone behaving aggressively towards another person
example – Call off the dogs Harry. He’s apologised, let that be the end of it.
meaning – an important/skilful/capable/successful person
example – He’s a hotshot stockbroker. I trust him with my money.
- hound someone
meaning – harass, bother, annoy
example – The paparazzi continuously hound celebrities.
- keep at bay
meaning – keep at a distance
example – The ewe kept the wolf at bay whilst her lambs escaped.
- long shot
meaning – a guess/bet/suggestion with little chance of success
example – I’ve put £10 on Tottenham to win the league. It’s a long shot, but they’re my team.
- not by a long shot
meaning – not at all
example – I haven’t finished decorating my house yet. Not by a long shot.
- run rings around
meaning – outclass/a lot better than someone at particular activity
example – Grandad is old now, we run rings around him.
- sitting duck
meaning – an easy target
example – The soldiers ran out of bullets, they were sitting ducks for the enemy.