lamb

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Related to lambed: lambed down

be as gentle as a lamb

To be pleasant, caring, and calm. My rambunctious son is as gentle as a lamb with our cat. Mr. Stewart may seem crotchety, but he's as gentle as a lamb—he's actually helped me carry my groceries many times.
See also: gentle, lamb

like a lamb

Gently and calmly; without c complaint or resistance. We had a lot of trouble getting Bobby to go to play school, but after he made a few friends, he now goes like a lamb.
See also: lamb, like

mutton dressed (up) as lamb

A disparaging term for an older woman who tries unsuccessfully to look much younger or else finds herself attractive in the style of younger women. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know what she's thinking wearing a dress like that. She looks like mutton dressed as lamb!
See also: dress, lamb, mutton

like a lamb to (the) slaughter

Without concern for what is to come (because one does not foresee the trouble ahead). This phrase comes from the Bible. When I did business with Michael, I was like a lamb to the slaughter—I had no idea he was such a criminal mastermind.
See also: lamb, like, slaughter

*gentle as a lamb

Cliché [of someone] very gentle. (*Also: as ~.) Don't be afraid of Mr. Schaeffer. He may look fierce, but he's as gentle as a lamb. Lisa was gentle as a lamb when dealing with children.
See also: gentle, lamb

in two shakes of a lamb's tail

Fig. in a very short time; very quickly. Jane returned in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Mike was able to solve the problem in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
See also: of, shake, tail, two

*innocent as a lamb

 and *innocent as a newborn babe 
1. guiltless. (*Also: as ~.) "Hey! You can't throw me in jail," cried the robber. "I'm innocent as a lamb."
2. naive; inexperienced. (*Also: as ~.) She's eighteen years old, but innocent as a newborn babe.
See also: innocent, lamb

like lambs to the slaughter

 and like a lamb to the slaughter
Fig. quietly and without seeming to realize the likely difficulties or dangers of a situation. Young men fighting in World War I simply went like lambs to the slaughter. Our team went on the football field like lambs to the slaughter to meet the league-leaders.
See also: lamb, like, slaughter

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb,

 and In like a lion, out like a lamb.
Prov. The month of March usually starts with cold, unpleasant weather, but ends mild and pleasant. (Either part of the proverb can be used alone.) March certainly is coming in like a lion this year; there's been a snowstorm every day this week. Jill: Today is March twenty-fifth, and it's beautiful and warm outside, when just two weeks ago, everything was covered with ice. Jane: In like a lion and out like a lamb, all right.
See also: and, come, goes, lamb, like, march, out

*meek as a lamb

[of someone] shy, quiet, and docile. (*Also: as ~.) Only an hour after their argument, Joe went to Elizabeth and, meek as a lamb, asked her to forgive him. Betsy terrorizes the other children, but she's as meek as a lamb around her elders.
See also: lamb

might as well be hung for a sheep as (for) a lamb

Rur. might as well commit a large fault as a small one, since the same punishment will result. I'll take the expensive fishing rod. My wife will be mad at me no matter how much I spend, so I might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.
See also: hung, lamb, might, sheep, well

two shakes of a lamb's tail

Fig. quickly; rapidly. I'll be there in two shakes of a lamb's tail. In two shakes of a lamb's tail, the entire pile of bricks had collapsed.
See also: of, shake, tail, two

hanged for a sheep as a lamb, might as well be

Might just as well be punished for a big misdeed as a small one. For example, I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb and have a third piece of cake-I've gone off my diet anyhow . Already a proverb in John Ray's 1678 collection, this expression alludes to the old punishment for stealing sheep, which was hanging no matter what the age or size of the animal.
See also: hanged, might, sheep, well

in two shakes

Also, in two shakes of a lamb's tail Very quickly, very soon, as in I'll be with you in two shakes, or She'll be finished in two shakes of a lamb's tail. The longer idiom alludes to the friskiness of lambs; the shorter one may be an abbreviation of the longer one, or it may refer to the shaking of dice or any two quick movements. [Early 1800s]
See also: shake, two

like a lamb to the slaughter

Also, as lambs to the slaughter. Innocently and helplessly, without realizing the danger. For example, She agreed to appeal to the board, little knowing she would go like a lamb to the slaughter . This expression appears in several biblical books (Isaiah, Jeremiah), and the simile itself was used by Chaucer.
See also: lamb, like, slaughter

gentle as a lamb

If someone is as gentle as a lamb, they are very kind and never become angry or aggressive. Brian was as gentle as a lamb and wouldn't hurt anyone. Verdy was as gentle as a lamb off the field but a raging lion on it.
See also: gentle, lamb

like a lamb

If someone is like a lamb or does something like a lamb, they are gentle, quiet, and obedient, often when you expect them to cause trouble. She'd followed him like a lamb.. I gave him his medication, and he took it like a lamb.
See also: lamb, like

like a lamb to the slaughter

If someone goes somewhere like a lamb to the slaughter, they go there quietly and obediently because they have not realized that it will be dangerous or unpleasant, or because they are powerless. His young bride walked down the aisle like a lamb to the slaughter. Note: People sometimes use sheep instead of lamb. I had no idea what the interview would be like and went to it like a sheep to the slaughter.
See also: lamb, like, slaughter

mutton dressed as lamb

or

mutton dressed up as lamb

BRITISH
If you describe a middle-aged or old woman as mutton dressed as lamb or mutton dressed up as lamb, you mean she dresses in a style which is suitable only for a younger woman. I'm always careful to avoid looking like mutton dressed as lamb. Note: Mutton is the meat of an adult sheep, and lamb is the meat of a young sheep, as well as being the name of the animal itself.
See also: dress, lamb, mutton

quiet as a lamb

If someone is quiet as a lamb, they are very quiet, calm, or gentle. She's fine, quiet as a lamb. You really mustn't worry. As soon as the organ music began to play, Ellie went quiet as a lamb.
See also: lamb, quiet

in two shakes

or

in two shakes of a lamb's tail

OLD-FASHIONED, SPOKEN
If you say that you will do something in two shakes or in two shakes of a lamb's tail, you mean that you will do it very soon or very quickly. I'm just going out to the shop — I'll be back in two shakes. Supper will be ready in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
See also: shake, two

I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb

or

I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb

If someone says I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb or I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, they mean that as they will suffer or be punished whatever they do, they are choosing to do something really bad. I knew I was going to get into trouble for being late as it was, so I figured I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. Note: For a long time in the past in England, the penalty for sheep stealing was death.
See also: hanged, lamb, might, sheep, well

two shakes of a lamb’s tail

mod. quickly; rapidly. I’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
See also: of, shake, tail, two