Tiger Idioms

The mighty (but, sadly, endangered) tiger is the biggest of the cat species, with yellow or white fur and deep black stripes.

Most people who have never seen a tiger up close don’t realize how big they really are.

A tiger weighs, on average, six hundred sixty-one pounds (or three hundred kilos) and its body length is, on average, two hundred ten centimeters (or eighty-two point six inches).

Needless to say, this is a huge beast.

Tiger in plural is tigers. Tiger idioms are shown below.

Tigers - Part of the World's Charismatic Megafauna

Words That Start With the Word Tiger

Tigereye – a stone made out of silicified crocidolite that is very popular in spiritual communities. Typically used to decorate an amulet, necklace, pendant, earring or talisman. The new age spiritual community believes that a tigerseye crystal, when worn, grants protection against curses.

Tigerish – giving the quality of a tiger (fierce, savage) to someone or something. Examples: tigerish thirst, tigerish quickness, tigerish woman, tigerish passion, tigerish ferocity.

Tigerishly – similar to tigerish; the act of doing something in a tigerish way. Examples: he sped tigerishly into the casino, she smiled tigerishly, tigerishly angry, tigerishly powerful, their eyes sparkled tigershly.

Tigerlike – combination of the words tiger and like. The meaning is the same as tigerish. Examples include: a tigerlike appearance, tigerlike child, tigerlike black stripes, her tigerlike features, he has a tigerlike disposition.

Tigerlike Cuteness

Idioms With the Word Tiger

A very popular idiom with the word tiger is the lady or the tiger. This expression came from a short story by Frank R. Stockton entitled The Lady, or the Tiger?

The story goes as follows: in an ancient country trials were held through a simple challenge.

The person who is on trial must choose between two doors; beyond the first door lies a tiger; behind the second door there’s a gorgeous woman.

If you go through the door with the tiger behind it, you are guilty (and you’ll roll around in the tiger’s stomach). If you find the woman beyond the door, you are considered innocent (and you have to marry the lady).

The princess of this country was in love with a man who was on trial.

This man tried to get a hint out of her, yet the princess was confronted with a plight: if she told him what the woman’s door was, he would marry somebody else, but the only other option was to have him be eaten by a tiger.

The story ends before we know what happens, yet the phrase remained in English to describe a situation where there is no satisfactory solution.

A paper tiger is someone or something that seems ferocious but is, in fact, weak (example: he’s a paper tiger).

To have a tiger by the tail means to take a course of action that turns out to be incredibly difficult, yet this course of action can no longer be easily discarded (example: we will have a tiger by the tail with Greece).

Similarly, the expression he who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount means that this is a dangerous task and you’re better off seeing it through. If you abandon it midway, you will suffer the consequences.

Cute Tiger

Don’t you just love tigers?