Spring 2: egg, chicken, lamb, spring


Idiom Explanation Example
don’t count your chickens before they are hatched don’t expect success before it is sure to happen I don’t want to count my chickens before they are hatched, but I think they are going to offer me the job!
run around like a headless chicken be busy and disorganised so that in the end nothing gets done Mary, stop for a minute. You need to organize yourself better. You’ve been running around like a headless chicken all day and you haven’t achieved anything.


Idiom Explanation Example
have egg on your face look silly Are you sure about this? I don’t want to say the wrong thing and have egg on my face in front of the whole class.
put all your eggs in one basket risk everything (money, effort, time) on one thing You should apply to more than one college. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. What if you don’t get accepted?
teach your grandmother to suck eggs teach somebody something that they already know I don’t know why he’s explaining natural selection to me. I got an A+ on that assignment. It’s like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.
walk on eggshells be extremely cautious not to upset somebody My sister-in-law is very sensitive and the whole family has to walk on eggshells around her.


Idiom Explanation Example
mutton dressed as lamb a older women who tries to appear younger by wearing clothes designed for young women Look at her! She looks like mutton dressed as lamb. We ought to remind our mother of her age!
like a lamb to the slaughter go somewhere or do something because you don’t know/think that something bad will happen Thousands of men went to fight in WW1 like lambs to the slaughter.


Idiom Explanation Example
full of the joys of spring happy and energetic She arrived at school early and full of the joys of spring.
no spring chicken not young anymore (funny) Are you sure you should be out this late? You’re no spring chicken, you know!
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Exercises C1

Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.

  1. My mother is no chicken, but she still likes to go hiking at the weekends.
  2. Melanie had no idea her boss was going to fire her and she went into the boardroom like a to the slaughter.
  3. We had on our faces after we publicly supported the losing candidate.
  4. I’ve been so busy lately but I feel like I'm not getting anything done. I’ve just been running around like a headless .
  5. Explaining the internet to a web developer is like teaching your grandmother to suck .

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. “Good morning! What a wonderful day it is today.” She said as she bounced into the room.
  2. A women in her 70s should not wear revealing clothing unless she wants to be …
  3. The only thing that saved me when the stock market crashed was that I never …
  4. Jared needs to toughen up and stop being so sensitive.
  5. “I can’t wait to put the trophy in my room!” said the little boy confidently and his mother replied, “You haven’t won yet Eric …

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