Outdoors

The origins of 7 wildlife idioms

“She has a bee in her bonnet”; “We had a whale of a time!”; “Cat got your tongue?” You’ve all heard these animal idioms, and you—for the most part—probably understand what they mean in modern language. But do you know where they came from? (That last phrase, according to one theory, came about because in the Middle Ages, liars and blasphemers were punished by having their tongues cut out and fed to the king’s cats. Yowza!) So, how well do you know the origins of these seven wildlife-inspired expressions?

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