big as life
as big as life
Present before someone, often surprisingly so. I can't believe I saw the first lady today. I turned the corner at the grocery store, and there she was, as big as life!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*big as life (and twice as ugly)and *large as life (and twice as ugly); bigger than life (and twice as ugly)
Cliché a colorful way of saying that a person or a thing appeared, often surprisingly or dramatically, in a particular place. (*Also: as ~.) The little child just stood there as big as life and laughed very hard. I opened the door, and there was Tom as large as life. I came home and found this cat in my chair, as big as life and twice as ugly.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
big as life
Also, large as life. In person, as in And there was Mary, big as life, standing right in front of me. This phrase transfers the same size as in real life (life-size) to an actual appearance. Sometimes this term is embellished with and quite as natural, presumably alluding to a likeness of a person or thing that closely resembles the real thing. A similar addition is and twice as natural, which doesn't make sense. [Late 1800s]
2. Also, larger than life; big as all outdoors. On a grand scale, as in The soap opera could well be called a larger-than-life drama, or That friend of his was as big as all outdoors. This phrase can be used either literally, for larger than life-size (second example) or figuratively. The phrase all outdoors has been used to compare something or someone to an immensity since the early 1800s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.