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Do You Know These 12 Lion Idioms?

Have you ever heard someone say “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb?” This means the month of March starts out with fierce winter weather, then ends with mild spring weather.

An idiom is a phrase that carries meaning outside the literal words it uses. Lions really don’t walk through your door on the first of March. Idioms are figurative statements.

Because lions are beautiful, powerful, and fearsome creatures, they capture our imagination. Lions tend to make an appearance in lots of English idioms.

Here are 11 other sayings that feature lions. Have you ever heard someone say any of these?

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1. The Lion’s Share
If someone gets the lion’s share of something, it means they got the largest part. If you agree to split a pizza and someone eats over half of it, they got the lion’s share.

2. Lion Hearted
When someone is brave or courageous, you can call them a lionheart, or lion hearted. Richard I of England was known as Richard the Lionheart for his bravery in battle.

3. Throw To the Lions
Throwing people in a lion’s den was an ancient form of execution. Today, people who stand by when they see someone getting bullied is throwing them to the lions.

4. Put Your Head in the Lion’s Mouth
Circus performers put their heads in a lion’s mouth to amuse an audience. When you put yourself in a dangerous situation, you’re putting your head in the lion’s mouth.

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5. A Live Dog is Better Than a Dead Lion
If a dog thinks it will lose in a fight, it will run away. A lion won’t: it will fight to the death. This idiom takes the position that living is better than dying.

6. Strong as a Lion
Lions are powerful creatures. If someone says you are strong as a lion, they mean that you are strong and powerful; as well as physically and mentally fit.

7. Fight Like a Lion
Lions can be ferocious. They fight hard. If you go up against an adversary with intensity and bravery, you’re fighting like a lion.

8. Beard the Lion In Its Den
If you meet someone on their own territory and you best them: you’ve bearded the lion in its den. It means you did something hard and came out ahead.

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9. Escape the Bear and Fall to the Lion
Bears are powerful, but lions are even stronger. When you solve one tricky problem, then fail at a bigger one: you’ve escaped the bear and fell to the lion.

10. Lion in the Way
Imagine you’re walking home, when you come across a lion! When you face a daunting obstacle, a lion is in the way. It makes it harder to achieve what you want.

11. Twist the Lion’s Tail
You wouldn’t yank on a lion’s tail. That could get you hurt. When you go up against a huge adversary with little chance of winning, you’re twisting the lion’s tale.

Even though you might not live in an area native to lions, you probably hear people use lions as a figure of speech. What other figurative phrases have you heard about lions?


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