The mighty lion is defined by Merriam-Webster as a big golden-furred wild cat.
The average lion inhabits Africa, specifically the southern part of the Sahara desert. They also live in some places in eastern Africa and southern Africa.
Lions used to roam more than just Africa. Europe has a rich history with lions. Ancient Rome and ancient Greece are two examples of places where lions lived freely before humans reduced their numbers. European Lions were very similar to African Lions.
So—ready to beard the lion in his den?
Here are a few interesting linguistic facts about the word lion.
Idioms With the Word Lion
Beard the lion in his den: The act of confronting a mighty adversary in their own home or territory.
Can also be used when you are about to face a very difficult situation.
Better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion: This idiom implies that it’s more desirable to be the chief of a less respected group or organization than to to be a lower-ranking member of a highly respect group or organization.
“Lion” can be replaced with any other powerful animal. In Spanish, it’s more common to say “es mejor ser la cabeza de un perro que la cola de un tiburón”, which means it’s better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a shark.
In like a lion, out like a lamb: Usually refers to the month of March, when winter ends and spring begins.
Lion’s Den: A dangerous or difficult situation where you are attacked or criticized.
Lion’s Share: The largest share of something.
Strong as a lion: When somebody or something is as powerful as a lion.
“Lion” can be replaced with any other strong animal such as a horse or a bear.
Throw him/her to the lions: To forsake someone and place them in a situation where they are helpless.
Lion in Different Languages
Lion in Russian is лев. In Portuguese you write leão. In Spanish it’s león. In Greek you write λιοντάρι. Slovak: lev; Slovenian: lion; French: lion; Croatian: lav; Swedish: lejon; Welsh: llew; Romanian: leu; Polish: lew; Maltese: iljun; Galician: león. Czech: lev; Catalan: lleó; Estonian: lõvi; Danish: løve; Afrikaans: leeu; Hausa: zaki; Somali: libaax; Swahili: simba; Cebuano: leon; Filipino: leon; Javanese, Malay and Indonesian: singa; Esperanto: leono. Latin: leo. Korean: 사자; Chinese: 狮子; Japanese: ライオン.
Words that start with Lion
Lioness: A female lion.
Lionfish: A venomous fish also known as firefish and zebrafish. It has prominent fin rays and feeds on small fish and other mollusks. Their venom causes extreme pain in humans. If you see one, avoid it.
Lionheart: Someone who is lionhearted is said to be an extremely courageous person. A lionheart is simply a lionhearted person. Richard I of England was known as Richard the Lionheart. It is also the title of a 1990 movie starring Van Damme.
Lionizer: The act of behaving toward a person as if they were celebrity. It doesn’t matter whether they’re actually a celebrity or not. Can be written with an s (British spelling) or a z (American spelling). The words lionization and lionized have the same basic meaning.
Lionlike: Similar to a lion. Often used to attribute fury, courage or honor to someone or something. Other synonyms include lionly and lionesque.