Lion's share

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wdc202

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Most dictionaries I've looked at say the lion's share means the largest part. But I thought it meant the <whole> amount; that is the irony and message in the Aesop tale. Am I wrong? Can anyone cite a reference I can use?... wdc
 

RonBee

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I agree with twostep. ;-) My interpretation of the saying is that the lion's share is most if not all. The lion takes what the lion wants. Whatever is left over goes to the rest.
 
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wdc202

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twoStep, RonBee: Thank s for your responses. I agree that your understanding of the phrase is the prevalent one. But I believe the correct meaning is "the whole thing." Here e, is the Aesop tale.

The Lion went once a-hunting along with the Fox, the Jackal, and the Wolf. They hunted and they hunted till at last they surprised a Stag, and soon took its life. Then came the question how the spoil should be divided. "Quarter me this Stag," roared the Lion; so the other animals skinned it and cut it into four parts. Then the Lion took his stand in front of the carcass and pronounced judgment: The first quarter is for me in my capacity as King of Beasts; the second is mine as arbiter; another share comes to me for my part in the chase; and as for the fourth quarter, well, as for that, I should like to see which of you will dare to lay a paw upon it."

"Humph," grumbled the Fox as he walked away with his tail between his legs; but he spoke in a low growl ."You may share the labours of the great, but you will not share the spoil."

I sure would like to locate an authority for my interpretation. ...wdc
 

RonBee

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The lion takes what he wants, but that does not necessarily mean all. (I must revise my previous opinion.) The lion's share is the biggest portion, and certainly everything (as in Aesop's fable) is the biggest portion.

The lion's share

Since Richard owns 60% of the company, he always gets the lion's share of any profits.​
 
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