Using animals to describe people

In today’s blog I am going to tell you some animals that we can use to describe people depending on some qualities they have.

Although it might sound weird, sometimes we use animals to describe people, when someone’s characteristics are similar to the ones we attach to the animals we use

And I am sure you do that in your country too.

Before we start, I want you to think and try to remember if at some point you have heard someone using an animal to describe a person, for example, have you heard that someone is a dog? What about someone complaining about their friend that is a rat?

And if you have….DO you know what they mean by that? If you didn’t, or you haven’t even heard those descriptions, no worries! We are going to see the most common animals we use to describe people and why.

Using animals to describe people

1-ser un perro-dog

you know how dogs have quite an easy life, right? Lying around, having a nap, eating…they don’t do much so when we say someone is a dog, we mean they are lazy.

A mi primo le gusta estar tirado en el sofá, es un perro…-My cousin likes to lie in the sofa, he is such a lazy person…

watch out! We can also use the verb “estar” instead of “ser”, and hat means that someone in a particular moment is feeling lazy and does not want to do anything. We are not describing their personality, we just feel like that.

Necesito hacer un montón de cosas, pero hoy estoy muy perra-I need to do a loto f things, but today I feel very lazy.

2-ser una tortuga-turtle

We use it when someone is very slow.

María es una tortuga siempre tarda mucho en arreglase-María is so slow, she always takes ages to get ready.

3-ser un rata-rat

If someone does not like to spend their money, and never pays we probably gains this description

Miguel tiene problemas con su móvil otra vez, no me extraña, siempre compra móviles viejos porque no quiere gastar dinero, ¡es un rata! – Miguel is having problems with his pone, again, no wonder, he always buys old pones because he does not want to spend money, he is so cheap!

4-ser un zorro-fox

When someone is sly, they know the tricks and have life’s experience, although not every time is good, it can also mean they can trick you, because they are smart. As always depends on the context.

Mi primo pequeño es un zorro, se sabe todos los trucos para que sus padres le compren lo que quiere-My little cousin is so smart, he knows all the trick so his parents buy him everything he wants.

5-ser un cerdo-pig

Normally when we think of pigs, we think they are dirty, and that is what we mean when we call someone cerdo, someone is unorganized, and/or dirty.

If you go with your friends to the park and when you are leaving one of them leaves his rubbish behind, you can say

¡No seas cerdo! ¡Recógelo! –don’t be a pig! Pick it up!

*Side note-if someone has a really untidy space such as workspace or room, we refer to it as pocilga-pigsty.

6-ser un gallina-hen

When someone is being not very brave, and indeed is a bit coward, we use gallina, instead of pollo-chicken used in English.

Joaquín nunca se enfrenta a sus problemas, es un gallina-Joaquín never faces his problems, he is a chicken

7-ser un burro-donkey

This actually has two different meanings we can use for someone that is a bit thick, silly

Como dices que 2+3 son 4, eres un burro! –how do you think 2+3 equals 4, you are so silly!

Or someone that is very stubborn.

Le dije que la tienda estaba cerrada, pero es un burro y tuvo que ir a comprobarlo-I told him the shop was closed, but he is stubborn and he needed to go and checked it himself.

8-ser un toro-bull

When we want to emphasis that someone is strong (an probably big too)

Tuve un problema con mi moto y Martin me ayudo a moverla, es un toro!-I had problemas with my motorbike the other day and Martin helped me to moved it, he is so strong! That is it amigo! 9 animals you can use to describe people in Spanish. As always, I hope you enjoyed the blog and you learnt something new. Remember that if you enjoy my content you can support me by buying me a coffee.

And if you want to watch the video (in Spanish) for this blog come over to my YouTube channel and have a look.

Also you know I love hearing from you, so leave a comment below and let me know

-did you know what describing people as these animals mean?

-do you know any other animal we can use to describe people (in Spanish or in your own language)?

I see you in the comments!

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