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beard the lion
To confront risk or danger head on, especially for the sake of possible personal gain. Refers to a proverb based on a Bible story from I Samuel, in which a shepherd, David, hunts down a lion that stole a lamb, grasps it by the beard, and kills it. Risks very often don't turn out well, but if you don't face them and beard the lion, you will never achieve the success you truly desire.
Another name for several bushy flowering plants, including the rose of Sharon. The name alludes to the Biblical Aaron and his very long beard. A: "I see these plants everywhere but I can never remember what they're called." B: "Oh, that bush? That's Aaron's beard."
See also: beard
make (one's) beard
1. To be in a position of complete control over another person. The image here is of a barber shaving someone's beard (and thus holding a razor to that person's throat). It took some time, but I've made his beard—now, he does anything I say.
2. To deceive someone. Don't make my beard—tell me the truth about what happened!
beard the lion in his denand beard someone in his den
Prov. to confront someone on his or her own territory. I spent a week trying to reach Mr. Toynbee by phone, but his secretary always told me he was too busy to talk to me. Today I walked straight into his office and bearded the lion in his den. If the landlord doesn't contact us soon, we'll have to beard him in his den.
beard somebody in their denalso beard the lion in their den
to visit an important person in the place where they work, in order to tell or ask them something unpleasant A group of journalists bearded the director in his den to ask how he was going to deal with the crisis. Who's going to beard the lion in her den and explain what's gone wrong?
beard the lion
Confront a danger, take a risk, as in I went straight to my boss, bearding the lion. 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).