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The lion's share? #172425
01/07/08 10:16 AM
01/07/08 10:16 AM
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Uncle Ben Offline OP
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Uncle Ben  Offline OP
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Time was that "the lion's share" was ALL, not just most. I suppose the misunderstanding is now so common as to have been accepted, except for us old pedants, but it is a loss.

Re: The lion's share? [Re: Uncle Ben] #172426
01/07/08 10:55 AM
01/07/08 10:55 AM
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Netherlands, the Hague
BranShea Offline
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BranShea  Offline
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Hello, please Uncle Ben, could you be a little more specific about this "ALL"? I've learned since childhood (which wasn't just yesterday either) that "the lion's share" meant the largest part.
I still hear my mother say to my eldest brother: " No, not you the lion's share again!"

Re: The lion's share? [Re: BranShea] #172427
01/07/08 12:45 PM
01/07/08 12:45 PM
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Faldage Offline
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Ęsop's fable does seem to be the origin of the phrase. Whether it is ignorance, misunderstanding or language shift that has effected the change in meaning is up for debate. Perhaps part of the lion's share has drifted over to decimation, explaining why decimation has increased in value at the expense of the lion's share. If one were to use the phrase "lion's share" in the original meaning one would risk being misunerstood. Whether this is worse than being excoriated by the Etymological Fallacists is also up for debate.

So, tel me, Uncle Ben, outside of the fable itself have you ever heard the phrase used to mean "all" by anyone other than yourself?

Last edited by Faldage; 01/07/08 12:46 PM.
Re: The lion's share? [Re: Faldage] #172433
01/08/08 01:32 AM
01/08/08 01:32 AM
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Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie Offline
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It makes sense, though: lions don't share. The most powerful one eats what he wants, then leaves. If there's nothing left, that's too bad for the others; if there is, they have to try and sneak a share while he's there, or wait until he leaves.

Re: The lion's share? [Re: Jackie] #172434
01/08/08 01:51 AM
01/08/08 01:51 AM
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Posts: 2,154
British Columbia, Canada
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Zed Offline
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That's civilization for you:
decimation went up with inflation and the lion's share got taxed!

PS Hi and welcome Uncle Ben

Re: The lion's share? [Re: Zed] #172439
01/08/08 10:54 AM
01/08/08 10:54 AM
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Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: Zed
The lion's share got taxed!


The lion needs a better lawyer.

Re: The lion's share? [Re: Jackie] #172443
01/08/08 04:16 PM
01/08/08 04:16 PM
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Dallas, TX
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Myridon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jackie
... lions don't share. The most powerful one eats what he wants, then leaves. If there's nothing left, that's too bad for the others; if there is, they have to try and sneak a share while he's there, or wait until he leaves.

It would seem most of you have not watched enough Animal Planet. Perhaps you can start with Wikipedia article about how lions hunt (note the photo caption "Sharing a zebra").

Re: The lion's share? [Re: Myridon] #172444
01/08/08 05:47 PM
01/08/08 05:47 PM
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Netherlands, the Hague
BranShea Offline
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Just like humans:
sharing a zebra

Re: The lion's share? [Re: Myridon] #172448
01/08/08 09:10 PM
01/08/08 09:10 PM
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belMarduk Offline
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Ah but Myridon, if you read further in the anybody-can-edit-whether-true-or-not site, you'll find "Male lions will never share food they have killed by themselves." ; which is also what I learned by watching documentaries done by National Geographic and Animal Planet.

Re: The lion's share? [Re: belMarduk] #172454
01/09/08 01:39 AM
01/09/08 01:39 AM
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Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: belMarduk
"Male lions will never share food they have killed by themselves."


Onliest thing, they don't do that much of the killing. They usually leave it to the ladies.

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