lamb(redirected from lambs)
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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.
*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.
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.
*innocent as a lamband *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.
like lambs to the slaughterand 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.
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
two shakes of a lamb’s tail
mod. quickly; rapidly. I’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.