ESL Online Magazine

helping English language learners expand their skills and their lives

Animal Similes for ESL Students

Animal Similes for ESL

Animal similes are often used in English to describe people. For example, a smart person could be described as “wise as an owl,” or if you are starving, you could say you are as “hungry as a horse.”

What is a simile?

A simile is a comparison between two unlike things in order to make a strong point, so an animal simile is a word that compares the quality of a person to that of an animal.  The words “like” and “as” are typically used when writing a simile.

Ten other animal similes you can use

Listed below are ten other animal similes you can use. Most are very commonly used. After reading through them all, try to take the Animal Simile Quiz by clicking on the link at the end of the page.

1. Proud as a peacock- He won first prize in the competition. His father must be as proud as a peacock.

2. Blind as a bat- I can’t see anything without my glasses. I’m as blind as a bat.

3. Stubborn as a mule- I can’t get him to go anywhere else on vacation. He is as stubborn as a mule.

4. Sick as a dog- I can’t go to work today. I’m as sick as a dog.

5. Strong as an ox- He managed to move all the furniture by himself. He is as strong as an ox.

6. Gentle as a lamb- That child is so lovely. He is as gentle as a lamb.

7. Quiet as a mouse- His mother told him to be as quiet as a mouse when he was in the theater.

8 Free as a bird- When school finished for the year, she was so happy. She felt as free as a bird.

9. Busy as a bee- He hates to be idle and is happiest when he is as busy as a bee.

10. Slippery as an eel- I don’t trust him at all. He’s as slippery as an eel.

Take the Animal Simile Quiz

Go to and choose “Student Login.” Enter the code for my classroom: PBWL2JMZW.  Enter the name of the animal that fits the simile. You’ll get a score out of ten. Good luck!

Tell me about Animal Similes in Your Language

Does your language use animal similes? Are they the same as the ones in English or different? Tell us one in the comment section.



View all posts by


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.