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    #1

    phrses

    Friends,
    everybody knows the term "lion's Share"
    The dictionary meaning is "largest or the best part of something".
    HOwever i feel the true meaning is "Demanding the largest share without contributing to the cause equally"
    because this phrase must have been originated form the observation that the lioness goes out for hunting and after that the lions eats first ,leaving the reminder for the lioness.
    So if in a team work i demand more share than my contribution ,i could be asking for the "lion's share".
    Do you agree ?Can anybody authentically explain?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: phrses

    Welcome, sameer1728.


    Its origin is different from what you suspect:
    Lion's share Source
    The saying derives from one of Aesop's fables, where the term is actually defined as the complete amount (all of it).
    In the fable, a lion, fox, jackal and wolf go hunting, successfully killing a deer. It is divided into four parts with the lion taking the first quarter because he is king of the beasts, the second quarter because he is the arbiter of which animals get what portions of the deer, the third quarter because of his help in catching the deer, and the fourth quarter for his superior strength.

    In some variants of the fable, the lion only takes three-quarters of the deer and lets the other animals fight over the remaining quarter.
    Morever,
    This expression alludes to Aesop's fable about a lion, who got all of a kill because its fellow hunters, an ass, fox, and wolf, were afraid to claim their share. [Late 1700s]
    From lion's share - Definitions from Dictionary.com

    The largest part or share, esp. a disproportionate portion: The eldest son received the lion's share of the estate.

    A disproportionately large segment of the whole: “Though we always divided our winnings, somehow Barton always seemed to end up with the lion's share.”

    Does that help?


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    #3

    Re: phrses

    How interesting that you were able to get very close to the true sense of the expression without knowing it was a reference to the fable!

    There are several useful expressions deriving from Aesop. "Sour grapes" and "cat's paw" come immediately to mind; also "dog in the manger" and "bell the cat."

    I love these because they pack so much meaning into just a couple of words, and show that human nature hasn't changed in over 2500 years.

    Aesop's Phrases, Proverbs from Aesop's Fables, or Aesop's Fables from Proverbs


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    #4

    Re: phrses

    Dear Casiopea,
    That was very apt and educative.You seem to possess the art of explaining things.
    the info would certainly help.
    Although it is derived from Aesop fable can we not link t to the observation about lioness going for a kill and lion eating it first larger part of it......just a thought


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    #5

    Re: phrses

    [Dear Deimobile,
    thanks for the info.
    will certainly check the site for idioms from aesop fables

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: phrses

    Quote Originally Posted by sameer1728 View Post
    Although it is derived from [one of] Aesop['s] fables can we not link t to the observation about [a] lioness going for a kill and [the] lion eating [the] first, larger part of it. Just a thought.
    That interpretation is possible, yes, but does your audience share it? Do they know how you are using the idiom?


    [i]From http://www.wsba.org/media/publicatio...-03-cumbow.htm
    Many people use the term "lion's share" to mean the biggest share or the first choice; very few who use this term understand that the "lion's share" of something traditionally means all of it or at least all of it that's worth having. When the lion is finished, there's still a little left for the hyena. But if you and I are dividing something 70-30, it's not correct to say that you are getting the lion's share.
    In other words, the greatest amount isn't necessarily the best part, the part worth having.

    lion: definition, usage and pronunciation - YourDictionary.com
    lion's share: The greatest or best part.

    Ex: ... the lion's share of the military's time and resources ...

    Does that help?
    Last edited by Casiopea; 12-Jun-2007 at 12:41.


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    #7

    Re: phrses

    wow.you are bringing out the finer meanings and shades .This is becoming very interesting .(because english is not my mothertoungue)
    I just checked your profile.No wonder......you are a english teacher and you have taught to people acreoss the world.

    Let me tell you why I got into this "lion's share" thing.I was writting a small script for a talk show on TV(my regionalTV) on Men-women equality.there I mentioned about lion /lioness work distribution.
    Suddenly it came to my mind that this could be the origin of the phrase.In my language literally translated form of " lion's share" is used but amusingly it means greater share of efforts.e.g. MR. X has the lions share in achieving sales targets or Mr. Y can be said to have the lion's share in bringing about the remakable social changes.

    I always doubted this use and wanted to confirm so that I can notify this wrong use.

    Thanks

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: phrses

    Quote Originally Posted by sameer1728 View Post
    In my language literally translated form of "lion's share" is used but amusingly it means greater share of efforts.
    Efforts ... Now that's a great semantic association. Who's to say the idiom doesn't mean that for some people, if not more than just some people. According to our sources (see the above posts), the fable from which lion's share supposedly originates has a storyline that varies. So why couldn't its meaning vary as well? It's more than possible.

    Consider this. Aesop was a Byzantine scholar during the 5th century BC; the fables, however, were found on Egyptian papyri known to date between 800 and 1000 years before Aesop's time Source. So, whose copy did Aesop copy from? (Aesop's copies were translated versions.) Then, those copies were translated again, and again, and again, into other languages, into English by William Caxton in 1484, from his own translation made from the French. Aha! Yet another language. No wonder there are so many different versions of The Lion's Share. Who's to say the meaning of the idiom didn't change as well somewhere along the translation route? (Your first language is ... Hindi, Gujarati, ... ? At any rate, could it have been that the Egyptians copied the fables from an Indian scholar?)

    In short, English (the varies dialects spoken all over the world) doesn't have a pattent on the idiom lion's share. It's owned by more than one dialect. Variants will and do exist. It could be that the variant our sources provide (lion's share means, best share, which often implies the greatest share) is out of date and doesn't reflect how modern speakers are using it today, this very day. (See our source, post #6. It alludes to that.) It's also possible, and more probable I think, that the variant you know (lion's share means, greater share of efforts) is Indian-English; i.e., another dialect of English. Your examples support that. How could an entire English speaking community be wrong?

    Keep it. (Re)Introduce it to the world. Just make sure you provide enough context to clarify the meaning you intend.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 12-Jun-2007 at 14:31.


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    #9

    Re: phrses

    My first language is Marathi.I am not a writer but a real estate businessman,and commerce graduate by education
    languages interest me and esspecially word origins,etc.

    To my knowledge "lion's share" was introduced to Marathi from english.I am not very sure how is it used in Indian version of English.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #10

    Re: phrses

    No worries. Use the meaning you want, the one that best fits your storyline. Just make sure you provide enough information within the dialogue so that your audience has a chance share in the humor.

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