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11 interesting shark idioms

Shark idioms

Here is a list of interesting shark idioms in the English language.

  1. A shark
  2. A card shark
  3. A hammerhead
  4. Jump the shark
  5. A loan shark
  6. A pool shark
  7. Shark bait
  8. Shark repellent
  9. Sink your teeth into (something)
  10. Swim with sharks
  11. He wouldn’t shout if a shark bit him


Now, here are the shark idioms with meanings and example sentences.


1- In general, saying that someone is a shark means that they are very competitive or ruthless when it comes to money. In some situations, it can also mean that a person is dishonest or deceitful in their pursuit of money and is not to be trusted. This makes sense in that sharks are commonly known as emotionless predators.

Example – There are so many sharks in that line of business, be careful you don’t lose everything.


2- A card shark is a person who is very good at playing cards, particularly when gambling.

Example – I wouldn’t play poker against Tom if I were you, he is a real card shark.


3 – A hammerhead is a person of low intelligence, meaning their head is as hard as a hammer. It can also be used to describe people who have a drug addiction.

Example – He is such a hammerhead that he lost his phone again this week.


4 – The idiom to jump the shark refers to television series that become ridiculous after a long time on-air and never return to being as good as they once were. This idiom originates from a scene in the famous TV series Happy Days, where one of the main characters (Fonzi) jumps a shark while waterskiing. It can also be used to describe other periods of success that have come to an end.

Example – The action movie star really jumped the shark with his last movie, it was terrible.


5 – A loan shark is a person who offers money loans with very high interest rates.

Example – She borrowed $2000 dollars from a loan shark last month and now has to pay them $4000.

shark in a bottle

6 – A pool shark is someone who has a very good ability at shooting pool.

Example – That guy over there is a total pool shark, he hasn’t lost a game all night!


7 – Shark bait is slang used to describe a person swimming or surfing alone and is, therefore, the only person likely to be attacked by a shark. In Hawaii, the term is used to describe strangers from out of town who go into the ocean.

Example – I’m not going to swim out there by myself. I will be shark bait.


8 – Shark repellent is a measure or step taken by a company or corporation to stop itself from being taken over by another usually bigger one.

Example – The board of directors at the clothing company came up with some shark repellent to prevent the Chinese firm from taking them over.


9 – If you sink your teeth into something, can mean that you bite into it or eat it. It can also mean that you get involved in something with lots of enthusiasm or energy.

Example – The roast chicken you have cooked looks absolutely delicious, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it.

Example 2 – That book you lent me is a fantastic read, I really sank my teeth into it over the weekend.


10 – To swim with sharks is to hang out or associate with dangerous people.

Example – I really worry about Jim these days. Have you met his new friends? He is swimming with sharks.


11 – A peculiar shark idiom native to Australia is to say “he wouldn’t shout if a shark bit him” meaning that a person is very stingy with their money and will never buy something for somebody else. It is most commonly used to refer to buying a round of drinks at a bar or pub.

Example – It is Tony’s turn to go and buy beer but he wouldn’t shout if a shark bit him!

shark shadow under surfers
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