On April 10, 2019, these deer were photographed beforehand one morning in a field near Hildesheim, Germany type of. And they kind of have actually the "stare" that deer are well-known for – "captured in headlights." (Photo: by Moritz Frankenberg/dpa through AP)


And now, Words and also Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.

You are watching: Like a deer in the headlights

On this regime we teach common words and expressions in American English. Today we talk about an animal uncovered in many kind of parts of the United States -- deer.

Washington, D.C. is residence to many kind of deer. They are sweet-looking, specifically the baby fawns with their white spots. In the city, they are fun to watch, but they perform cause trouble.


Deer eat plants in a real estate location in Romford, Romford, Britain, April 3, 2020. (REUTERS/Peter Cziborr)

They make most gardeners angry because deer eat nearly everything!

In many parts of America, you will certainly see road warning indicators about deer. Adults are not bit pets. An average male weighs about 135 kilograms! Deer sometimes leap right into the course of fast-moving web traffic. This deserve to have significant, periodically deadly, results.


This deer leaps in a snow extended area close to the village of Karpavichi, around 50 km north of Minsk, Dec. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

And, that is what brings us to today’s expression – prefer a deer recorded in headlights.

Deer will certainly often sheight all of a sudden in the middle of a road and stare right into the lights of a vehicle coming toward them. They appear frozen in place, or “caught” in the headlights.

When world are in a state of too much surprise, fear or confusion, we say they are like deer recorded in headlights. They seem so frightened that they have the right to not think plainly. They execute not understand what to perform, so they perform not carry out anypoint.

Sometimes we shorten the expression and ssuggest say, “favor a deer in headlights.”

This is a tiny different from being referred to as “doe-eyed.” A doe is a grown female deer. People who are doe-eyed are innocent, cluemuch less. They are unaware of what’s going on roughly them.

Now, please store this in mind. We generally usage “prefer a deer caught in headlights” in cases that are not life-threatening.

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For instance, world who have phase fright often look choose a deer in headlights. Let’s say I am acting in a play. I know all my lines and also feel ready. But on opening night, as I look out into the audience and see all those faces … I freeze. I forget all my lines and also stare into room, unable to sheight. Someone watching might say, “What is wrong via Anna? Is she expected to just stand tright here doing … nothing? She’s favor a deer caught in headlights.”

So the following time you are really surprised or scared, you might uncover yourself looking frozen and also wide-eyed -- prefer a deer in headlights.

And that brings us to the finish of this Words and Their Stories. Until following time … I’m Anna Matteo!

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor. The song at the end is Sia singing "Deer in Headlights."


Words in This Story

fawn – n. a deer that is less than a year old

leap – v. to jump over something : to move quickly

stare – v. to look at someone or something for a long time often with your eyes wide open

stage fideal – n. nervousness felt at appearing before an audience

audience – n. a group of people who gather together to listen to something (such as a concert) or watch something (such as a movie or play) : the people who attfinish a performance