Idioms about wolves

I’ll start by saying that I think wolves are smart and fascinating creatures. I think they get a raw deal in fairy tales, where they’re busy eating grandmas or trying to evict little pigs out of their houses.

My name is Kirsty Wolf, so that’s another reason for me to be writing about them!

Recently, I looked at some wolf-related idioms on my Facebook page. I’d like to gather the information together and share it with you here as well.

1. To keep the wolf from the door

This means to have just enough money for basic things like food and somewhere to live.
Example: I don’t earn much but it’s enough to keep the wolf from the door.

To wolf down your food

This means that you eat quickly and hungrily – like a hungry wolf.
I was worried that they wouldn’t like my cooking but they wolfed it down.

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. Perhaps inside, they are something else.
She seems really nice but I don’t think we should trust her with all the information straight away. She might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Image of a wolf
Image of a wolf

To cry wolf </h2
There was once a boy who kept telling the people in his village that a wolf was coming. At first they listen to him and tried to help but as he did it again and again, they grew tired of his behaviour and ignored him because they knew that he wasn't telling the truth.
One day, a wolf really did come and the boy cried "wolf" as he had in the past. Now he really was in danger but nobody helped him because he had lied about the wolf so many times before.

To throw someone to the wolves

This means that you intentionally put someone in a difficult or dangerous situation where they have no chance. It can also mean that you sacrifice someone else to save yourself.
She knew the customer was angry because of the mistakes that had been made. She should have sorted out the problem herself but she didn’t want to. So she threw her unsuspecting assistant to the wolves and asked her to deal with the customer instead.

More from English with Kirsty

If you’d like to see more idioms and explanations, check out my idiom page.

Or, if you’d like to find out about my events and courses for general and conversational English, Have a look at my general English page. You can also send me a message using the contact form so that we can set up an online meeting to talk about the events and courses that I offer for people who are serious about improving their English.

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Author: Kirsty Wolf

I am an English teacher and a language enthusiast who also speaks German and Romanian. I help motivated professionals to improve their English so that they can communicate confidently and authentically.

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