21

It's not an exact opposite, but the mythical animal "unicorn" is sometimes used as a description for people and things that are so rare and special that they may seem nearly mythical. For instance, at my company, the most senior developers are jokingly referred to as "unicorns" because it's very rare for a developer to get promoted to that level --there are ...


19

The slang word "beast" can be used to describe something that's awesome. For example: This movie was a BEAST, cast wonderfully, directed excellently, acted superbly and just all around incredible, and the theme of the movie "Hero" by Chad Kroger is officially my theme song for whenever it's time for me to get down to business.


13

Not exactly an animal but more of a part of an animal, but both of the following expressions can be used to express a worthy/positive experience: bee's knees: a highly admired person or thing dog's b*llocks: the best. It comes from the habit of male dog's licking their testicles and that they must taste good as they spend so much time in this ...


10

Many animal words in English have both positive and negative connotations, simultaneously. 'Dog' isn't always negative, but also also not always positive. The use of animal terms in relation of people is generally (but not always) used to denote a type of personality, not necessarily "good" or "bad". There are some exclusively bad or good though, so I'll try ...


8

We don't use an animal to describe something superior. The use of "dog" in this slang sense is quite obscure. I'd probably understand the meaning in context, but it is rare enough that I can't recall ever hearing it used. The general sense of "inferior thing" is not found in other dictionaries The slang meaning seems to be derived from the general idea of ...


3

Somewhat tenuous but you might also hear people mention a Golden Goose in reference to Aesop's fable of the goose that laid the golden egg, or a cash cow meaning a business venture that generates a steady return of profits.


3

"Stud!" "Stud-ly!" A stud being a male horse used for breading other horses. Indicating it has those desirable qualities worthy of surviving the gene pool. (Males typically view it a positive thing to be overused for ... reproduction ... not sure how a woman would feel about it, though.)


3

Yes, "Milton" is 99% likely to be his Father, 1% likely to be his Mother. I'm not sure that any modern King would introduce himself quite like you suggest, (not least because they generally get someone else to introduce them!), but it is pretty common in literature / movies.


3

Hardened and professional don't exactly have the same meanings. Hardened used to describe someone who has had a lot of bad experiences and as a result no longer gets upset or shocked no longer likely to change a bad way of life or feel sorry about it Professional used to describe someone who does a job that people usually do as a hobby ...


2

Pros and cons comes from the Latin prefixes "pro" and "contra" which mean "for" and "against," respectively. The Latin prefix "con-" (which is not the same as "contra") means "with." Constitute and prostitute share the Latin root "statuo" which has a broad range of meanings, including set up, establish, determine, erect, decide, hold up. The idea that ...


2

This is a real word. It's generally spelled spritz, even though it is commonly pronounced shprits. What it means in this context is not raining but raining lightly, or in non-Yiddish-influenced English, drizzling. The word spritz came from Yiddish or German; in German spritzen means to squirt. In Yiddish the corresponding word is shpritsn (שפּריצן). It ...


2

"Crumbs" are the small, randomly shaped pieces of food that break off and are left behind. You don't get "crumbs" of paper. A "shred" in the context of a small piece of something is a thin strip shape. That's why paper is referred to as having been "shredded", because it is normally torn, or cut into long, thin strips ("cross-cut shredders" are machines ...


2

A Bear can be a very tough, difficult task. In general, using negative analogies to dogs is falling out of fashion: Dogs are members of our families. They protect our children and love us unconditionally. Most English speakers treat dogs with the same care and courtesy that they treat other people. For example, when a terrorist gets "shot like a dog", it ...


2

Both sound correct, but they both mean different things. There may be more natural ways of saying them, but you haven't provided any context. I'll never give you a chance to complain. This means that you won't allow someone the opportunity to make a complaint, so they may have cause for complaint, but you won't allow it to be heard. I'll never give ...


2

Growing up in the South, the older people called it "the parlor". From the 1950s on at least, it was called the "front room". Gradually people began calling it the "living room", possibly influenced by television. A "lounge" was the anteroom to a public restroom, usually containing a chaise longue. This is just personal experience of U.S. Southern usage.


1

Yes, but I suspect the term you are looking for is historic. An event that is historic is noteworthy. An event that is historical is simply an event in the past, ie it belongs in history. Also note that, in British English, some insist it should be an historic event (like "an honourable man").


1

Both expressions are metaphors that are unrelated to actual light. Eyes "lighting up" indicates a change in expression to something happy/positive, or suddenly showing an interest in something. Having a "twinkle in your eye" is an idiom usually meaning your expression shows happiness or amusement, or sometimes that you are keeping a secret.


1

Another slang term is "cat's ass". Obviously you'd want to be careful where you use it. That party was the cat's ass. Wikipedia also mentions a few others (in conjunction with "cat's pajamas"), none of which I am even vaguely familiar with as a native speaker (Canada): the snake's hips the spider's ankles (Ireland) the ant's pants (...


1

'Mutt's nuts' comes to mind - rather like earlier answers, but far more poetic! And agreeable in most class-related situations! EDIT: on the other hand, someone who has a high opinion of themselves might feel that they are the cat's whiskers. So, reference to an animal describing 'high quality' - if only in the eyes of the beholder!


1

It's not clear from your question whether the absent someone has declined to join the group for a social outing or has failed to turn up to support a cause for which the group was rallying. If the latter, then the metaphorical use of the word heart to indicate feeling or emotion is apt. The use of heart to indicate innermost feelings goes back to the origin ...


1

It evidently is a legitimate term, because I found it used in medical and legal papers. Below is an example of its use in a paper on mental health. Please see what follows 2) (third line from bottom) below. The Free Medical Dictionary, while not using the word "persecutory", states: trend (trend) [Old English trendan, to roll, revolve] The inclination ...


1

You would say the first. It is implicitly a conjunction: Please, Madam, may I come (and) write the date? You are asking permission to come to the board, and to write the date. The test is that you could remove either verb and still have a grammatically correct sentence: may I come to the board? (without necessarily doing anything else); may I write the date?...


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