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ANIMALS IN LANGUAGE

          Animal diction occupies an important place in the realm of the writers' imaginations. It is through the use of animals that the latter tend to convey a full intellectual image of their societies: The social sphere is reflected by or rubbed on the animal spheres. Fables however are not the only reference here. Many other literary genres trust animals to convey the meaning they're after well.

          Animals make our language pregnant with symbols. Man is intelligent enough to draw short-cuts to reach the exact meaning he wants to deliver without using long wining sentences. He uses animals instead in his metaphors, similes and others to express himself.

          And since there are more varieties of animal-imagery users among playwrights, novelists, and poets than can be treated here, I'll focus only on one of them, notably William Blake (1757-1825). His poems are perhaps the most profuse with animals. Let's now quote some of them from J. Bronowski's book, William Blake.

"Rarely do we see a cat discomfited. They seem to have no conscience, and they never regret...Maybe we secretly envy them." Barbara Webster.

"The leopard cannot change its spots."

          There is always a sort of interactive relationships between the dog and the cat in all cultures. It is generally that of quarrel and argues. The two can't bear each other. Like the dog, the cat has a large family even larger than that of the dog. There are: The lion and the lioness, Tiger, Jaguar, Lynx, Panther, Leopard and the Puma. But the cat as the pivot of the following expressions is used this way.

CAT'S PROVERBS & SAYINGS

  1. "I had rather be a kitten and cry "mew" than one of these same metre ballad-mongers" |HENRY IV| (W. Shakespeare)
  2. "When the cat is away, the mice will play."
  3. "Don't make yourself a mouse, or the cat will eat you."
  4. "Curiosity killed the cat."
  5. "Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide"(French)

IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS

CAT'S COMPOUNDS



HORSE

          Almost all cultures hold the horse in great esteem because it embodies power, prosperity and respect. The horse is perhaps the noblest in the kingdom of animals. He is a tame animal and he has got great faculties as strength, detection of his riders' emotions and intelligence, to name only a few.

          In English, like most animals the horse is frequently used in proverbs, sayings, idioms and in other expressions. To begin with..

PROVERBS AND SAYINGS

  1. You can ride a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink.
  2. Don't put the cart before the horse: don't do s.th in the wrong order.
  3. Don't swap horses in mid-stream.
  4. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
  5. It's too late to shut the stable-door when the horse is stolen.
  6. Never look a gift-horse in the mouth: to show dissatisfaction with a gift.
  7. "Stout horses and willing minds make short journeys." She Stoops To Conquer
  8. "A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse."

IDIOMS

COMPOUNDS

  • horse-box: closed vehicle for carrying horses
  • horse-chestnut: a large tree
  • horse-fly: a large insect
  • horse-laugh: loud, coarse laugh
  • horse-man-ship: art of riding.
  • horse-power: to measure car engines(hp)
  • horse-play: rough noisy fun or play
  • horse-radish: a plant
  • horse sense: ordinary wisdom



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