Know Thy English: Animalistic Verbs!

When was the last time you chickenedout of something?

Or has somebody been badgering you lately?

What is common in the above two questions? You guessed it right (Well I kinda gave it away in the title) But welcome to the world of “animal verbs” !!

I love using these as they make descriptions fun and more vivid, so let’s jump right into the words then –


imitate the behavior or manner of (someone or something), especially in an absurd or unthinking way.

Hey! Stop aping your friends and think of something on your own!


ask (someone) repeatedly and annoyingly for something; pester.

The insurance guy kept badgering me all day.


work hard

He beavered away at his desk all day to keep his customers happy.


push or drive powerfully or violently.

He bulled the motorcycle out of the ditch


move sideways or obliquely.

The dance routine involved a lot of crabbing movements


stretch out one’s body or neck in order to see something.

I craned my neck to spot any familiar face.


tilt (something) in a particular direction.

She cocked her head slightly to one side.


follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently.

“He seemed to dog my every step!”


baffle or deceive (someone).

“The bad light and dark shadows foxed him.”


keep or use all of (something) for oneself in an unfair or selfish way.

“I have a tendency to hog all the limelight”


harass, persecute, or pursue relentlessly.

Peter hounded Lily all throughout college to go out on a date with him.


behave in a silly or playful way.

The kids are monkeying about again.


repeat mechanically

The little girl learned to parrot back anything her mom says.


move quickly; run away

He rabbited as soon as he saw us.


achieve something by use of cunning or deceit

He weaseled his way into the organization’s inner circle.


devour (food) greedily

He wolfed down his breakfast.


So, there you go! That’s my list of some of the favourite verbs derived from animals. Do you have any other favourite verb that I missed? Do let me know!



9 thoughts on “Know Thy English: Animalistic Verbs!

  1. And Bob’s your uncle! I heard someone used that expression today and laughed because my mind wen back to your earlier post. But she’s English living in Scotland for about 30yrs, she said it’s not a common phrase here, but a lot of kids are now catching on. All of the above expressions I know ;-). My eldest goes ape anytime her sister borrows her stuff! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, my initial sentence was Severus hounded Lily 😉 but changed the name as I thought it’d be an unnecessary HP reference 😛 Glad you found my post helpful, be sure to check out my other Know Thy English posts. You might find something else to be of use too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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