June 2009

Your browser may not support display of this image. 

VOCABULARY:  Several months ago, we learned some idiomatic expressions that involved animals, such as TO HORSE AROUND (to play roughly) and IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOGS! (It’s raining very hard!)  This proved to be a very popular section.  This month we have some more animals used as ADJECTIVES – ways to describe people or things.  Sometimes it’s easy to see why this particular animal has come to have this particular meaning, but sometimes it’s impossible to explain (see numbers 3 and 5 for example)! 

1. MOUSY: This describes a person whose appearance and personality are very quiet and not very interesting or excitingHis uncle was such a mousy little man that no one even noticed when he got up and left the house!

2. DOGGED: Stubborn, persistentJohn surprised the teacher by his dogged repetition of the same question, again and again.

Your browser may not support display of this image.3. FISHY: Suspicious, wrong, possibly dangerous. I got a phone call offering me a free vacation in Las Vegas, but I think it sounds fishy – it’s much too good to be true!

4. BATTY: crazy.  Will you stop playing that music so loud?  It’s making me batty!

5.   CHICKENCowardly, afraid.  (Children use this word a lot!) I saw someone on “Survivor” eat a rat!  I could never do that; I’m too chicken to even touch one!

6. RATTYIn bad condition, broken down, dirty. My son has a closet full of clothes but he always insists on wearing that same ratty old T-shirt.