The Animal Sayings We Get Completely Wrong

We learn phrases as kids and never give them a second thought. You’re “happy as a clam.” He’s “as crazy as a loon.” She “eats like a bird.” While some animal idioms are true, many of them are way off base. Take for example, “like a fish out of water.” Since fish would certainly be out of place on land, the saying is a true one. However, what about others sayings like “the early bird gets the worm”? The fact of the matter is, different bird species do arise at different times, and some of the earliest risers do chow down on worms. However, so do the late risers. So, that saying is not completely true. Here are some of the most interesting sayings to ponder, and they’re ones that are just plain false.


BLIND AS A BAT: Bats aren’t blind. In fact, they’re not even a little nearsighted. Actually, it really doesn’t matter how well they since, since they use echolocation — the location of objects by reflected sound — to avoid obstacles, hunt, and properly orient themselves.

EATS LIKE A BIRD: This saying might be used to indicate someone who nibbles modest amounts of food, but nothing could be further from the truth. Birds eat frequently throughout the day, with some eating their body weight each day. Some insect-eating songbirds chow down every 2 seconds!

CRAZY AS A LOON: Ah, the poor loon. Its name is linked to being crazy, but loons are extremely intelligent. They can zip through the air at incredible speeds and have diving and fishing skills that would put professionals to shame. So, why the “crazy” tag? Common loons have calls that sound a bit like maniacal laughter, while their signature, eerie wail sounds hauntingly insane.

CRYING CROCODILE TEARS: If someone says you're crying crocodile tears tears, they don't mean you're sad. They mean you're faking it. This saying arose out of the belief that crocodiles cry as they devour their prey. Since crocs enjoy their meals, they must, therefore, be feigning sadness about taking another creature's life. Crocodiles do shed tears — as do alligators — to lubricate their eyes……and yes, they sometimes shed those tears while eating. That’s because while they’re chowing down, air gets blown up through their sinuses and forces tears back up into the eye.