Animal idioms are fun to learn and use. The Chinese animal zodiac is used in many Asian countries, including where I live, Japan. I like to teach idioms that use the 12 animals of the zodiac. In this post, you will learn 18 common English idioms that are used with rabbit, the animal of 2023.
- (As) Mad As A March Hare
- A Rabbit Trail
- As Harmless As A Pet Rabbit
- Breed Like Rabbits
- Bunny Hop
- Dust Bunny
- Go Down The Rabbit Hole
- Gym Bunny
- If You Chase Two Rabbits, You Will Not Catch Either One
- Like A Rabbit Caught In The Headlights
- Pull A Rabbit Out Of The Hat
- Quick Like A Bunny
- Rabbit Food
- Rabbit Punch
- Rabbit’s Foot
- Snow Bunny
- Snuggle Bunny
- You Can’t Run With The Hare And Hunt With The Hounds
In this post, you will find a list of common idioms with the words rabbit, bunny, and hare. Plus learn how to use the word rabbit as a verb. Keep reading to learn the meaning, new idioms, and lots of example sentences. If you can think of some idioms that I left out, please tell me in the comments!
What’s the Difference Between a Rabbit, a Bunny, and a Hare?
A rabbit is a small animal with soft fur, long ears, and a short tail.
Bunny is another word for rabbit often used by children.
A hare is an animal that is just like a large rabbit with strong legs that can run very fast.
hare noun OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com
The verb rabbit
The word rabbit can be used as a verb that means to hunt rabbits. (Go rabbiting)
- “I went rabbiting with my grandfather when I was younger.”
rabbit_2 verb – OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com
The verb rabbit can also mean – to escape or run away quickly.
- “The police thought they had the suspect trapped, but he climbed over a wall and rabbited away before they could catch him.”
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Idioms with Rabbit, Bunny, and Hare
(As) Mad As A March Hare
- “I can’t deal with Jimmy today, he’s acting mad as a March Hare.”
A Rabbit Trail
– A distraction that takes you away from what you need to be focused on
- “I had to remove YouTube from my work computer. Every time I click on one video I’m taken on a rabbit trail watching more and more recommended videos until 2 hours have gone by!”
As Harmless As A Pet Rabbit
– totally harmless, no threat
- “Don’t worry about Jacob, he seems tough but he’s actually as harmless as a pet rabbit.”
Breed Like Rabbits
– to have many babies in a short time (Rabbits are known for having many babies close together)
- “After the Second World War when soldiers came home to their wives, everyone was breeding like rabbits. People in my father’s generation all seem to have large families.”
Do you know the cartoon character Bugs Bunny? He holds the world record for the most film appearances of any cartoon character! LINK
– jumping forward from a crouched position
- “If we were late for gym class we had to bunny hop around the basketball court. It’s hard to do!”
– A collection of dust that forms under a hard-to-reach place
- “Can you help me move the couch so I can vacuum under it? I’m sure there are lots of dust bunnies hiding down there.”
Go Down The Rabbit Hole
– If someone goes down the rabbit hole they are entering a confusing or strange situation.
The White Rabbit is a character in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alice follows him down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Wikipedia
A clip from The Matrix (1999)
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
– A girl who goes to the gym just to meet guys (This expression is used with other girls who focus on one specific group of guys. A puck bunny is a girl who dates hockey players, a badge bunny is a girl only interested in policemen, etc.)
- “I like my gym, they have lots of good equipment and the change room is always clean. The one problem is the workout area is always full of gym bunnies. They just stand around trying to look cute and don’t even work out.”
If You Chase Two Rabbits, You Will Not Catch Either One
– If your focus is divided you will not be successful
- “I recommend that you wait until your first business is more established before you try and open a second. If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. You must stay focused.”
Like A Rabbit Caught In The Headlights
– Frozen stiff with a surprised look on your face
- “I was shocked when my fiance broke up with me. I just sat there frozen, like a rabbit caught in the headlights.”
(The expression A deer in the headlights is more common for me)
- “I spoke up at the meeting and told my boss what I really think about him. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. This has been the highlight of my year.”
A rabbit’s eyes are on the sides of its head, so it can see all around. This helps them to keep a close watch for predators. LINK
Pull A Rabbit Out Of A Hat
– To make a rabbit (or something) suddenly appear from nowhere. To achieve something magical and unlikely. (This has been a classic magician’s trick for a very long time.)
- “Canada is playing New Zealand in the world rugby championship. New Zealand is much too strong, Canada needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat to win this game.”
Quick Like A Bunny
– Very fast
- “My boss asked for volunteers and I ran to the front of the line, quick like a bunny.”
– This is usually meant as a complaint that the food being offered is too light, has too many vegetables, and not enough other kinds of food. It’s food that would feed a rabbit but not enough for a person.
- “Tired of the rabbit food that the hotel has been serving all weekend, Michael and Gordon went to an outside restaurant for some steaks.”
– A punch to the back of the head, This kind of punch is illegal in most combat sports.
- “After the third rabbit punch, the referee disqualified the fighter and the match was over.”
– A rabbit’s foot is sometimes used as a lucky charm. It is supposed to be lucky for the person who is holding it
- “It’s going to be a hard game so I brought my lucky rabbit’s foot with me. We need all the help we can get.”
Visit my blog post – Idioms with LUCK – Do you know all 20? (PDF download) to learn some more common English Idioms. Worldenglishblog.com/20-english-expressions-with-luck/
Rabbit’s foot image By Sobebunny – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org
– An attractive girl who likes skiing and snowboarding.
- “This is a popular ski resort with lots of great trails, good food, and plenty of ski bunnies.”
– Someone who likes to snuggle and be close to other people. Usually their romantic partner.
- “My high school girlfriend was very affectionate and she always like to be close to me. She was a real snuggle bunny.”
You Can’t Run With The Hare And Hunt With The Hounds
– Hounds try to catch and kill (hunt) hares, they are enemies. This expression means you can’t be on opposite sides of an issue. You must choose a side.
- “Look Duncan, you’re either on the side of the developers or you’re against the new project and the damage it will do to our local environment. You can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. “
Find more GREAT Idiom posts below!
- Make Yourself at Home: 27 Common House Idioms (Free PDF)
- Feline Phrases: Understanding Cat Idioms (Free PDF Download)
- Listen Up! Understanding the Meaning of EAR IDIOMS
- Smell a Rat – English Idiom
- Mouse Potato – English Idiom
- The Rat Race – English Idiom
- Play cat and mouse with (someone) – English Idiom