lamb

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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

*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

be as gentle as a lamb

to be very calm and kind I thought she was gentle as a lamb until I heard her shouting at Richard.
See also: gentle, lamb

like a lamb

if you go somewhere that you are being forced to go like a lamb, you go there calmly and without complaining I thought I was going to have to drag her screaming to school but when the time came she went like a lamb.
See also: lamb, like

like a lamb to the slaughter

something that you say about someone who does something or goes somewhere calmly and happily, not knowing that something unpleasant is going to happen to them
Usage notes: This phrase comes from the Bible. The slaughter is the time when animals are killed for their meat.
Here comes the bride, like a lamb to the slaughter.
See also: lamb, like, slaughter

mutton dressed (up) as lamb

  (British informal)
an offensive way of saying that a woman is dressed in a style that is more suitable for a much younger woman Do you think this skirt is too short? I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb.
See also: dress, lamb, mutton

in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)

  (old-fashioned) also in a couple of shakes (old-fashioned)
very soon I'll be with you in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
See also: shake, two

I might as well be hanged/hung for a sheep as a lamb.

something that you say when you are going to be punished for something so you decide to do something worse because your punishment will not be any more severe
Usage notes: In the past, people who stole lambs were killed, so it was worth stealing something more because there was no worse punishment.
I'm going to be late for work anyway, so I think I'll go to the shop for a paper. I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
See also: hanged, lamb, might, sheep, well

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

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
References in classic literature ?
I ask your pardon, learned governor,' said Riderhood, smearing his sleeve across his mouth as he laughed with a relish, 'tain't fair to the lambs, I know.
Wishing to see at my Lock up the river, the person as we've spoke of, and as you've answered for, I takes my leave of the lambs and of their learned governor both.
His face became as white as the fleece of the lamb that, now finding itself suddenly released, ran down the hill.
The truth was that in spite of all he had heard he had not in the least understood what this boy would be like and that his fox and his crow and his squirrels and his lamb were so near to him and his friendliness that they seemed almost to be part of himself.
He walked over to Colin's sofa and put the new-born lamb quietly on his lap, and immediately the little creature turned to the warm velvet dressing-gown and began to nuzzle and nuzzle into its folds and butt its tight-curled head with soft impatience against his side.
There now," and he pushed the rubber tip of the bottle into the nuzzling mouth and the lamb began to suck it with ravenous ecstasy.
By the time the lamb fell asleep questions poured forth and Dickon answered them all.
It was a weak bleatin' an' I knowed it was a new lamb as was hungry an' I knowed it wouldn't be hungry if it hadn't lost its mother somehow, so I set off searchin'.
At the sale eight lambs made 10,000gns or more on a 68% clearance.
Underfeeding causes a metabolic energy crisis that can be fatal for lambs and ewe.
AHIGHER price for finished lambs and lower mortality can see the top third Less Favoured Area (LFA) sheep flocks achieve an extra 6.
The collapse in wholesale prices has been blamed on the financial crisis in the eurozone, the rising costs of feed and wet weather throughout the second half of 2012 which caused a delay in getting lambs fit for market.
As a result she will shed more worm eggs, putting lambs at risk once they start grazing.
The ewes that produce spring lambs will have been fed a dry diet through the winter, whereas autumn lamb-producing ewes have been out on the summer pastures, eating mainly grass and other plants.
A timeless message of faith and acceptance reverberates as God's love, like the Star over Bethlehem, shines on everyone--even little blue lambs.