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Related to tigerish: tigress

tiger team

business jargon A team of highly skilled professionals who are assembled to investigate, test, or try to exploit the potential weaknesses of a company's or organization's security system. The tech giant has begun recruiting coders and hackers fresh out of college into tiger teams to stress test vulnerabilities in their new operating system.
See also: team, tiger

have a tiger by the tail

 and have got a tiger by the tail; have a bear by the tail
Fig. to have become associated with something powerful and potentially dangerous; to have a very difficult problem to solve. You have a tiger by the tail. You bit off more than you could chew. You've had a bear by the tail ever since you agreed to finish that big project.
See also: have, tail, tiger

He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.

Prov. Sometimes it is more dangerous to stop doing a dangerous thing than it is to continue doing it. Jill: You shouldn't take out another loan. You're already too far in debt. Jane: If I don't take out a loan, I can't make the payments on the loans I already have. You know how it is—she who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
See also: afraid, dismount, he, ride, tiger, who

a paper tiger

a country or organization that seems powerful but is not Will the United Nations be able to make any difference, or is it just a paper tiger?
See also: paper, tiger

leopard cannot change its spots, a

Also, the tiger cannot change its stripes. One can't change one's essential nature. For example, He's a conservative, no matter what he says; the leopard cannot change its spots. These metaphoric expressions both originated in an ancient Greek proverb that appears in the Bible (Jeremiah 13:23): "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" It was first recorded in English in 1546.
See also: cannot, change, leopard

tiger by the tail

Something too difficult to manage or cope with, as in You know nothing about the commodities market; you'll end up catching a tiger by the tail . This colorful metaphor conjures up the image of grabbing a powerful but fierce animal by the tail, only to have it turn on one. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: tail, tiger

have a tiger by the tail

tv. to have become associated with something powerful and potentially dangerous. (Have got can replace have.) You have a tiger by the tail. You bit off more than you could chew.
See also: have, tail, tiger


n. a strong and virile man. The guy’s a tiger. Watch out for him.

tiger sweat

and tiger juice and tiger(‘s) milk
n. bad liquor; strong liquor; any beer or liquor. (Older.) This tiger milk would kill a tiger of any age or disposition. Give me some of that tiger juice, will ya?
See also: sweat, tiger

tiger juice

See also: juice, tiger

tiger‘s milk

See also: milk

tiger milk

See also: milk, tiger

the lady or the tiger

A problem with no solution. Frank R. Stockton's short story titled “The Lady, or the tiger” is set in an ancient country whose king held an trial by ordeal. Behind one door was a beautiful woman; behind a second door was a ferocious tiger. Those on trial were forced to open one or the other door without knowing what was on the other side. To choose the one behind which was the woman meant the defendant was innocent, and he was obliged to marry the woman. However, to select the door behind which was the tiger was a sign of guilt, and the defendant would be eaten alive. The king did not approve of his daughter's choice of suitor, who was forced to take the test. The princess knew what was behind both doors, and when her suitor looked to her for a hint, she was faced with a predicament: to indicate the maiden door would mean that her beloved would marry another; to point to the tiger door meant he would be killed. What did the princess do? We'll never know, because Stockton ended the story just as the young man was about to open a door. All we were left with was a terrific phrase to describe any dilemma for which there is no satisfactory solution.
See also: lady, tiger

paper tiger

Something that appears dangerous but is not. The phrase comes from a Chinese expression that means what it does in English—something or someone that is all bark but no bite. The phrase is often used in international diplomacy to describe a nation that makes threats but is unlikely to back them up with action.
See also: paper, tiger

ride a tiger

To find yourself in a precarious situation. The phrase comes from “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.” Which is to say, once you find yourself in a dangerous circumstance, getting out of it can be even more potentially hazardous, whether to your health or your career.
See also: ride, tiger
References in periodicals archive ?
And, with tigerish midfielders such as Makelele, Essien and Mikel, Chelsea are well-equipped to break up Arsenal's intricate passing game.
Having started the season in the green of Bromsgrove Rovers and then pulling on the blue of Halesowen Town after a post-Christmas move, the tigerish play-maker is now parading the black-and-white of Hednesford Town.
Birmingham, beaten only once previously this season, were constantly harried and given little time to settle on the ball by a tigerish Charlton side who have now taken 13 points from their last five games.
Fortunately, the same cannot be said for manager Peter Reid's team who tenaciously hassled and harried the champions, inspired from midfield by the tigerish David Batty.
Monty hit every fairway but failed to capitalise on the tigerish greens.
When Heaslip and O'Leary scored tries before halftime the champions looked set to run away with it, but the tigerish Italian defence kept them tryless after the break.
Institute's midfield, driven by the tigerish James Quigley, ran the show and the visitors were ahead when Ogilby headed past Alan Blayney, the only United player to emerge with credit.
There is little doubt we have missed his will to win, the tigerish way he plays and, above all, the goals he contributes.
Sherlock's injury partly offsets that, but Alan Brogan and Conal Keaney are more important to the Sky Blue forward-line and they should keep the scoreboard ticking over, while a tigerish home defence is fancied to keep the Meath forwards more in check than Kildare managed.
Add in his never-say-die spirit, tigerish tackling and vision on the ball and it's arguable whether the Saddlers would be promoted certainly not as early as they were - without him.
After a set by DJ Fuzzyfelt came Radio Luxembourg, who are destined for great things, with a tight, tigerish set exhibiting a strong influence by bands such as Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
No relation to their Tigerish neighbours, the Blaby-based Lions stomped through Midlands One last season, winning 19 of their 22 games, drawing one and taking the title with an average match score of 24-11.
Two run-outs were Shrewsburys only reward in looking for quick runs in the fact of some tigerish fielding with no other batsman managing to reach double figures as Shrewsbury slipped from 50 for 0 to 93 for 7 in 12 overs.
Saints, pepped up by a half-time talk from Millward, were in more determined mood at the start of the second half and kept Wigan penned inside their own half with some tigerish tackling.
I can't see Taylor's tigerish team getting turned over, but I can see the Toffees giving them food for thought.