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Animals Phrasal Verbs in English (With Meanings & Examples)

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A number of phrasal verbs are formed by adding particles to the names of animals or verbs associated with animals. Following are some common animals phrasal verbs with their meaning and examples in English.

Useful ANIMALS Phrasal Verbs

List of Animals Phrasal Verbs

  • Bear down
  • Bear up
  • Beaver away
  • Bee in
  • Bee off
  • Bird dog
  • Bird out
  • Bull through
  • Butterfly in
  • Butterfly out
  • Cat around
  • Cat nap
  • Chicken out
  • Chipmunk away
  • Civet out
  • Clam up
  • Coyote away
  • Croc around
  • Crow about
  • Deer stop
  • Dog it
  • Duck out
  • Ferret out
  • Fish for
  • Fish out
  • Horse around
  • Hound out
  • Leech off
  • Monkey around
  • Pig out
  • Rabbit on
  • Squirrel away
  • Wolf down

List of “Animals” Phrasal Verbs in English

  • fish for

To ask for or try to get something in an indirect way

E.g: It’s sickening the way he’s always fishing for compliments.

  • pig out

To eat a lot of food at once

E.g: I found Sam in front of the TV, pigging out on pizza and fries.

  • wolf down

To eat very quickly

E.g: Jim changed quickly, took out some clothes for the next morning, then wolfed down his dinner.

  • fish out

To pull something out of liquid/ container

E.g: She fished a piece of paper out of the pile on her desk.

  • leech off

To use someone, or cling to s.o for personal gain, often not giving anything in return

E.g: David always leeches off Harry’s hard work and pretends the ideas are his own.

  • monkey around

To behave in a stupid or careless way

E.g: Stop monkeying around and listen to me!

  • horse around

To play roughly

E.g: Stop horsing around – you’ll break something!

  • duck out

To leave quickly and unannounced

E.g: I’ll duck out to get something to eat and be right back.

  • beaver away

To work very hard, especially at writing or calculating something

E.g: He’s been beavering away at his homework for hours.

  • ferret out

To succeed in finding something such as a piece of information, that is difficult to find

E.g: Uncle Vernon ferreted out the laundry box from under the stairs.

  • clam up

To suddenly stop talking, especially when you are nervous or shy

E.g: The police took her in for questioning, but she clammed up when they asked about her


  • hound out

To make things so unpleasant for someone that they are forced to leave a place, job, …

E.g: The family were hounded out of their home by 18 months of abuse.

  • rabbit on

To talk for a long time in an uninteresting or annoying way

E.g: He kept rabbiting on about the environment.

  • squirrel away

To keep something in a safe place to use later

E.g: By December I had $300 squirreled away.

  • chicken out

To decide at the last moment not to do something you said you would do, because you are afraid

E.g: We were going to go bungee jumping, but Sandra chickened out at the last minute.

Useful ANIMALS Phrasal Verbs | Image

Useful ANIMALS Phrasal Verbs


Ajith Herath

Friday 21st of January 2022

I like to join


Tuesday 12th of December 2017

Beautiful post. Thanks.

Dimitar Gavrailov

Friday 27th of October 2017

Thank you for buiding up my (foreigner's) vocabulary! Stepping a bit aside off the buid (of these phrasal verbs) and focusing on literal meaning, they bow to idioms, as well, benefitting from the ways of stylistic devices (metaphors firstly) slightly.