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Rabbit Idioms

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Ben has a life-long interest in language and is particularly interested in the expressions, phrases, and idioms that contribute to it.

Why do Rabbits Appear in Idioms?

Rabbits have inspired so many expressions and phrases that form part of our everyday language.

And while it is a fact that many rabbit related idioms can be complimentary, others can be somewhat derogatory; they unquestionably come with a diverse range of meanings.

These varied meanings should not be so surprising, after all, while most people's initial reaction is to think of a cute little furry creature that you want to hug. Others among us may recall rabbits portrayed as frantic, a bit loopy or silly. They provide a mechanism that allows us to express a wide range of thoughts covering a broad spectrum of our lives.

An idiom helps to make our speech more expressive and colourful. When you use such a phrase in everyday language, then it has a different meaning than the underlying meaning or definition of the words, as found in a dictionary.

Rabbit food. We all know that rabbits enjoy eating carrots and salad.

Rabbit food. We all know that rabbits enjoy eating carrots and salad.

Rabbit Food

An idiom often mentioned when discussing salads.

Example sentence: "My brother says that salads are so bland and tasteless - they are for rabbits."

Like a Rabbit Caught in the Headlights

Meaning: an idiom that describes the feeling of being frightened or startled to such an extent that you cannot move.

Example sentence: "Craig jumped out from behind the curtain. I was so startled that I must have looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights."

There is nothing quite like a Startled Rabbit

There is nothing quite like a Startled Rabbit

A Rabbit Trail

To say that a person or a discussion has gone off at a tangent.

Meaning: a winding trail that leads nowhere.

Example sentence: "Everything Jack said until that point made sense. But he suddenly went off on a rabbit trail, and nothing made any sense at all from then on."

To Turn Rabbit

Meaning: to say that someone turned away in fright. Sometimes used to say that someone has pulled out - or chickened out of something.

Example sentence: "We were all committed to climbing up to the peak, but Simon turned rabbit, and we had to reconsider the whole thing."

Harmless as a Pet Rabbit

To suggest that a person is gentle and harmless.

Example sentence: "She is so sweet. I reckon she is as harmless as a rabbit."

As harmless as a pet rabbit - idiom

As harmless as a pet rabbit - idiom

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To Hunt Two Hares

Meaning: an idiom that says a person is trying to accomplish two tasks at the same time and will not succeed in either.

Example sentence: "You can't possibly hunt two hares at the same time. You need to either focus on the task in hand or ditch it and go after the activity."

An Idiom Quiz

Pour Salt on a Hares Tail

Meaning: to bluff or to threaten someone.

Example sentence: "They didn't know if they should take him seriously or not; he just kept pouring salt on the hares tail."

Who doesn't instantly recognise the magic of this image

Who doesn't instantly recognise the magic of this image

Pull a Rabbit Out Of The Hat

Meaning: to surprise someone by doing something they didn't think possible.

Not surprisingly, this idiom is linked to magicians tricks - to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Example sentence: "We all thought the business would close. But management pulled the rabbit out of the hat when securing that further loan."

Rabbit Punch

Meaning: this phrase describes a blow to the back of the head.

Example sentence: "I was holding my own against those thugs. But then I was hit by a rabbit punch and, it all went downhill from then."

Jack Rabbit Start

Meaning: to spring into action, or to start something suddenly from a standstill.

Example: "We were in a real hurry to get to the airport on time. But we were running so late that by the time we had packed the car, we had to get jack-rabbit start as we left the driveway."

Buy the Rabbit

To suggest that a person is unsuccessful or has suffered a misfortune.

Example sentence: "I thought that antique watch was the real thing. However, it was a fake, and I bought a rabbit with that one."

Why not try out these Idiom tests - just for fun...... - just fill in the missing word

Run With the Hare and Hunt With the Hounds.

An expression used when saying that you support both sides of an argument.

Example sentence: I understand what you are saying, but I also respect what Henry has to say on the subject. I'm afraid that I must run with the hare and hunt with the hounds on this matter."

As Mad as a March Hare

To say that a person is crazy.

Example sentence: "I don't why he did that. He is obviously as mad as a March Hare!"

Don't mess with the March Hare - he is mad!

Don't mess with the March Hare - he is mad!

Bunny Hop

Meaning: describes a person who is hopping like a bunny.

An idiom often associated with a sporting activity, for example, a small jump carried out on a bicycle while the rider stands on the pedals.

Snuggle Bunny

A way of referring to the affection shown for a child or romantic partner.

Example sentence: "He's so cute, I just want him for my snuggle bunny."

Badge Bunny

Meaning: a person who collects badges.

It can be a derisory comment.

Gym Bunny

A way of describing someone who is somewhat obsessive about maintaining their physique in a gym. A person who spends a considerable amount of time working out.

Happy Bunny

An expression often said in the act of sarcasm.

Example sentence: "He's a happy bunny. Always winging and bemoaning his luck."

Quick Like a Bunny

A way of saying be quick, hurry, act without delay.

Example: That huge discount on television sets is about to end. You had better be quick like a bunny if you want to take advantage of the offer."

Animal Idioms


JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA from Nairobi on November 06, 2020:

I didn't know whether thes idioms exist—Rabit idioms. Thanks for sharing!

Magdalena on August 21, 2019:

Thank you for this article. really interesting. It is motivating to learn everyday something different or new that make us a little bit more knowledgeable.

Angeles from Spain on April 13, 2019:

Really, really interesting! I listen to some English expressions from time to time, from my students, and it's even funny to check if we,Spanish speakers, have a similar expression in my language. Very interesting, I learned a lot!

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on August 09, 2013:

@CrazyHomemaker: Thank you - very much appreciated.

CrazyHomemaker on August 08, 2013:

Cute lens! You have some interesting lenses.

CrazyHomemaker on August 08, 2013:

Cute lens! You have some interesting lenses.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on May 05, 2013:

@lionmom100: Thanks for the visit. Appreciated.

lionmom100 on May 05, 2013:

This is a fun lens. Some of the idioms were new to me.

KandDMarketing on July 20, 2012:

All y'all Brits talk funny ... :) Nice lens!

John Dyhouse from UK on February 26, 2012:

Enjoyed this lens.

Cockneys use the term rabbit to signify excess talking. E.g. all she does is rabbit on all day.

CrazyPirate on October 16, 2011:

"Rabbit Ears" I humbly contribute matey.

anonymous on October 14, 2011:

So idiomically word, just for you!

CCGAL on September 09, 2011:

I kind of expected to see "Hop To It" ... that's bunny related. Another fun lens on idioms!

anonymous on August 12, 2011:

The expression "Punching Cattle on a Jack Rabbit" also means that Texans are so hot that they can do anything. This is also the tithe of my next art show. Although I am Canadian and live in West Virginia...

UKGhostwriter on March 24, 2011:

I learned a lot here! thank you

anonymous on March 11, 2011:

"Quick like a bunny" is an idiom I use a lot, and it always raises a smile. Great, fun lens.

thesuccess2 on February 28, 2011:

You've got a good lens franchise here!

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on February 15, 2011:

really enjoyed your lens. very nice one.

sorana lm on February 12, 2011:

LOL .. very funny lens. Love it.

Tempus on February 06, 2011:

Glad I hopped by- nice lens. Thanks

xenoc on January 28, 2011:

love rabbit! rabbit carrot always together..great lens!

rlivermore on January 28, 2011:

Fun lens. Thanks for sharing. s

photofk3 on January 26, 2011:

Nice content. Rabbits are really nice creatures. My real favorites are pigs. Little piglets are so cute that I cannot fill it into words.

kimark421 on January 26, 2011:

Nice lens! Fortunately I didn't fall down the rabbit hole when I stumbled upon your lens.

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