beard

(redirected from a beard)

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 (one) in (one's) den

To confront risk or danger head on, especially for the sake of possible personal gain. The phrase is a variation of the Biblical proverb "beard the lion in his den." OK, who is going to beard the boss in his den and tell him that the deal isn't happening?
See also: beard, den

beard the lion in his den

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. A risk very often doesn't turn out well, but if you don't face it and beard the lion in his den, you will never achieve the success you truly desire.
See also: beard, den, lion

beard

A woman who associates with a gay man so that he can appear to be straight. Not too long ago, gay men had to have beards to ward off suspicion and avoid derailing their acting careers.

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 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

beard the lion in his den (or lair)

confront or challenge someone on their own ground.
This phrase developed partly from the idea of being daring enough to take a lion by the beard and partly from the use of beard as a verb to mean ‘face’, i.e. to face a lion in his den.
See also: beard, den, lion

beard the lion, to

To confront a dangerous opponent; to take a risk head-on. The first Book of Samuel (17:35) tells of David, the good shepherd, who pursued a lion that had stolen a lamb and, “when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.” The expression often is put, “to beard the lion in his den,” which in effect adds the story of the prophet Daniel, whose enemies had him thrown into a den of lions for the night (Daniel 6:16–24). Daniel survived, saying that God had sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths. In any event, the term became a Latin proverb, quoted by Horace and Martial and in the Middle Ages by Erasmus, in which a timid hare disdainfully plucked a dead lion’s beard. It began to be used figuratively by the time of Shakespeare, and was a cliché by the mid-nineteenth century.
See also: beard
References in periodicals archive ?
These are not, however, the only "texts" "from the period that equate being a man with having a beard Similar formulations appear in a wide range of sources: medical treatises, physiognomy books, poetical works, and tracts on gender.
[8] Thus, for every portrait of a man without a beard, there are about ten portraits of men with beards.
Portraits and stage plays were not, however, the only early modern documents to equate being a man with having a beard. Indeed, there are many other texts from the period which do so.
Valerian, for example, clearly manifests this anxiety when he states that "it hathe bene euer a monstrous thynge, to se a woman with a beard, though it were very littel" (10).
Magdelena is said to have a beard that is "more like that of any bearded gentleman than that of a woman." If we take this statement to its logical conclusion, it suggests that a woman could have a beard, but that this particular beard is more like that of a man.
For Banquo, the presence of a beard "forbids" him from calling the witches "women." The dilemma here is that Banquo is presented with "incompatible" or "discordant" parts.
The book argues "that Nature gave to mankind a Beard, that it might remaine as an Index in the Face, of the Masculine generative faculty" (208).
By now it should be clear that during the early modern period, the growth of facial hair was insistently mapped onto social roles like soldier and father, and that those roles were in turn linked to having a beard. In fact, these sources demonstrate the extent to which the somatic and the social contours of "manhood" were imbricated in one another.
Holme lists the different stages of masculine development according to hair growth: he begins with the "child" who he says is "smooth and [has] little hair." Then, he defines a "youth" as having "hair on the head, but none on the face" and finally defines a "Man" as "having a beard" (391).
The implication of this statement is that marriage without a beard is even worse then heterosexual intercourse outside of marriage ("wenching"), presumably because such a marriage would not offer the possibility of reproduction and would thus have "degraded" the institution itself.
Beatrice complains that she "could not endure a husband with a beard on his face" (2.1.29-30) and that she would "rather lie in the woollen." But when Leonato suggests that she might "light on a husband that hath no beard" (31-32), Beatrice dismisses the notion:
He that hath a beard is more than a youth; and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.
She categorically states "he that hath a beard is more than a youth." Moreover, she subsequently implies that she considers a beardless male to be "less than a man." This formulation recalls that of Bulwer, who, as we have seen, insists that the man who shaves away his beard becomes "less man." Indeed, in Beatrice's description as in those of Bulwer and Valerian, the beardless youth is virtually transformed into a woman.
But even though the beardless youth is distinguished from the bearded man and subsequently rejected as an appropriate husband, the scene also makes it clear that these categorizations are not entirely fixed since Leonato at least offers the possibility that Beatrice might "light on a husband without a beard." Nevertheless, we might ultimately say that in the process of fashioning a portrait of the exemplary husband, these Renaissance sources work to construct an antithesis between men and boys through such gendered "signs" as beard growth and generativity.
And Inez van Lamsweede's The Widow (Red) of 1997 is a disturbing image of a solemn child cuddling a bearded man.