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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.
See also: beard, lion

Aaron's beard

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!
See also: beard, make

beard the lion in his den

 and 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.
See also: beard, den, lion

beard somebody in their den

  also 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?
See also: beard, den

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).
See also: beard, lion
References in classic literature ?
The interrupter bowed, smiled, stroked his beard, and relapsed into his chair.
The Professor, with his face flushed, his nostrils dilated, and his beard bristling, was now in a proper Berserk mood.
That coal-black beard was in singular contrast to eyes were as bright as if he had a fever.
He snatched off the dark beard which had disguised him and threw it on the ground, disclosing a long, sallow, clean-shaven face below it.
Nikita did not answer for some time, apparently still intent on thawing out his beard and moustache.
The impenetrable young woman went on with her master's beard.
you have learned to dress my hair and anoint my beard, haven't you?
And at the same moment, he saw the man with the unmistakable ginger beard kneel down on the ground, level his gun, and coolly take his time for the long shot.
They laughed at the unexpected eruption of apples, and clapped their hands in applause of the long shot by the man with the ginger beard.
And though the old man's scarlet face and silver beard had blazed like a bonfire in each room or passage in turn, it did not leave any warmth behind it.
Pinocchio ran to him and scurrying like a squirrel up the long black beard, he gave Fire Eater a loving kiss on the tip of his nose.
I knew him presently, though I have not seen him these several years; but you know, sir, he is a very remarkable man, or, to use a purer phrase, he hath a most remarkable beard, the largest and blackest I ever saw.
I took my handkerchief to my face; now that I thought of it, there had been something familiar in the old man's gait, as well as something rather youthful for his apparent years; his very beard seemed unconvincing, now that I recalled it in the light of this horrible revelation.
All the moral bracing up against the possible excesses of power and passion went for nothing before this sallow man, who wore a full unclipped beard.
He had a Roman nose, a snow-white, long beard, and his name was Mahon, but he insisted that it should be pronounced Mann.