English has a lot of idioms and metaphors that involve animals:
“It’s raining cats and dogs!”
“He’s as sly as a fox.”
“She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
But animals represent different characteristics in different cultures so a couple weeks ago I asked my language teacher what some Mongolian animal metaphors are. Some are similar to American English idioms, some are very different. Here’s what I learned:
You are fat like a pig.
You are sleepless like an owl.
(not a wise like an owl)
You get up early like a hen.
You are intelligent like a dog.
(because dogs have to think well to herd sheep and protect them)
You are slow like a bear.
You are stupid like a cow.
You are scared like a rabbit.
You have big feet like a camel.
You are patient like a horse.
(a domesticated one, not a wild, reckless one)
Finally, my favorite:
You have bad character like a cat who hides her claws.