Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hey, lion

I recently heard an idiom I've never heard before. I cannot, unfortunately, remember the context - only the idiom. It's a wonderful turn-of-phrase, though.

beard the lion
Confront a danger, take a risk. This term was originally a Latin proverb based on a Bible story (I Samuel 17:35) about the shepherd David, who pursued a lion that had stolen a lamb, caught it by its beard, and killed it. By Shakespeare's time it was being used figuratively, as it is today. Sometimes the term is amplified to beard the lion in his den, which may combine the allusion with another Bible story, that of Daniel being shut in a lions' den for the night (Daniel 6:16-24).
"beard the lion." The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. Answers.com 16 Aug. 2006. http://www.answers.com/topic/beard-the-lion