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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #120505: Idioms: Wolves
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Animals | Idioms [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Animals (video) - Animals - Animals & insects - Animals and pictures - Animals - Vocabulary: animal noises/sounds - Wild animals - Birds II (Idioms)
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    Idioms: Wolves

    Wolves (<=>a wolf) are carnivorous canines. Though human beings and wolves have long been enemies, wolves hardly ever attack humans. They are considered one of the animal world's most fearsome villains.They do attack domestic animals and cattle. Countless wolves have been shot, trapped, and poisoned because of this tendency. 
    In many countries and districts, wolves have become a threatened species.


    - They live in packs of around six to ten animals led by a dominant male at the top of the hierarchy and his mate not far behind. Usually this male and female are the only animals of the pack to breed.

     a wolf=> wolves   a wolf pack  
     to howl to nurture
     a werewolf/ a wolfman   to be greedy  
     to be hungry
     to be starving  
     an endangered species                 interbreeding 
     a den a pup=> a full-grown wolf                   
     a lone wolf a wolf-cub= a pup

    - A werewolf/ wolfman= In folklore and superstition, a werewolf or wolfman is a human being who has changed into a wolf, or is capable to assume the form of a wolf, while retaining human intelligence. This change takes place when the moon is full.

    She-wolves and pups/ cubs are made more lovable in our collective unconscious.  


                           A pup/ a cub.                                                 The she-wolf feeding the twins Romulus and Remus


    - As a revenge for their strength and beauty, wolves often get a raw deal in fairy tales. They are reputed  to eat away grandmothers and hunt down plump little pigs. They are also said to be stupid and deceitful... , which they're not!




    - Idioms in which they are "stars" or "victims". 

    * To wolf down your food= You eat quickly and hungrily – like a hungry wolf.

    * To keep the wolf from the door= To have just enough money for basic things like food and somewhere to live.

    * Between dog and wolf= Between dusk and daylight.

    To cry wolf= to ask for help unnecessarily. 

    * Cut one's wolf loose= to go on a drinking bout; to get drunk. 

    * Buy (a/one's) wolf ticket= To challenge or respond in a hostile way to one's threats of violence or menacing, boastful words. 

    A wolf dressed in sheep's clothing=This is a warning to us to say that someone can appear to be good or kind on the outside, but perhaps they are not what they seem. Don't judge on appearances.

    * Have/hold a wolf by the earsTo be involved with someone or something that is powerful and could become troublesome or threatening. 

    To throw someone to the wolves= This means that you intentionally put someone in a difficult or dangerous situation.

    * Growing youth has a wolf in his bellyYoung people who are growing seem to be hungry all the time. 


    * Man is a wolf to manMen prey on other men. An English translation of the Latin phrase "homo homini lupus." 


    * Wolf-whistleA high-pitched, typically two-note whistle directed at a person (usually a woman) to indicate that the whistler (usually a man) finds them attractive.


    * Keep the wolves at bay= to fight against some kind of trouble


    * Put (one's) head in the wolf's mouthTo subject oneself to danger or trouble.


    * A finewolf= (Slang) a sexy or desirable man. 



    Please, notice that in this (almost) unbiased lesson, the last idiom I've given you was a flattering (though quite familiar) image of WOLVES. They are, indeed, splendid, strong, frank, faithful and courageous animals... Of course, wolves are harmful, especially to some species, but their very nature, their essence and their place is ecosystems are the cause of it.
    To finish, I couldn't resist the need and pleasure to remind you of that great poem by Vigny : La Mort du Loup  (The Death of the Wolf). I've tried to find and then I 've studied several translations without finding one which would be clear, "faithful and elegant"... I leave it up to you... Let me invite you to read this poem (or read it again), including our non-French-speaking friends on one of the following links: 

    "Comment on doit quitter la vie et tous ses maux,                                                 "The way to quit this life and all its ill
    C'est vous qui le savez sublimes animaux.                                                            You know the secret, sublime animal! 
    A voir ce que l'on fut sur terre et ce qu'on laisse                                                    To know what you were, and what you leave behind.

    Seul le silence est grand ; tout le reste est faiblesse."                                            Silence alone is great, all else is weakness."

    Alfred de Vigny, La Mort du loup (1843)                                                                                   (... loses much in the translation )





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    1. Wolves have become an in some districts and countries, and in places they must be reintroduced to maintain ecosystems.

    2. 'Yes, I agree, Paul is , he should really open up and become more sociable.'

    3. Wolves seldom live alone but rather in of 6 to 10.

    4. Dogs live in kennels, whereas wolves live in and bears live in caves.

    5. Hearing wolves is quite terrifying, especially if you’re in nature at night.

    6. 'I’m frightened and didn’t like this story, Mum, but don’t really exist, do they?'

    7. Leo has eaten every last bit of food in the house. I guess it's true that .

    8. I hate driving … I’d better leave before 5!

    9. Now that he has to work on this project with his boss,Jack feels he’s ...

    10. Stupid Joe! Really, he when sneaking out of the house late at night when his father was still up, he was caught and now, he’s grounded for a month!

    11. 'I can't believe he was so cruel to his own brother.' 'Well, after all.'



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