“Animals” Phrasal Verbs in English (With Meanings & Examples)

A number of phrasal verbs are formed by adding particles to the names of animals or verbs associated with animals ...


  • fish for

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

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

  • pig out

To eat a lot of food at once

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

  • wolf down

To eat very quickly

Eg: 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

Eg: 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

Eg: 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

Eg: Stop monkeying around and listen to me!

  • horse around

To play roughly

Eg: Stop horsing around – you’ll break something!

  • duck out

To leave quickly and unannounced

Eg: 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

Eg: 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

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

  • clam up

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

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

boyfriend.

  • hound out

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

Eg: 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

Eg: He kept rabbiting on about the environment.

  • squirrel away

To keep something in a safe place to use later

Eg: 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

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

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Comments 1

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  1. 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.

“Animals” Phrasal Verbs in English (With Meanings & Examples)

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