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February 12, 2014 - Word of the Day: lion

 

lion

A lion is a type of cat found in Africa and in some parts of Asia. It's one of the most recognizable animals in the world because of its size, its strength, and its large mane. The mane is the hair and fur that encircle a lion's head, making the lion look larger than it actually is. A female lion is called a "lioness." A lioness does not have a mane.

The word "lion" is found in everyday conversations:

  • March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. (The month started out cold, wet, and stormy, but it ended with mild weather.
  • March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. (The month of March started out mild but ended with terrible weather.)
  • The lion's share of real political power rests with those who are wealthy. (the lion's share = the largest portion)
  • The lion's share of blame for the company's bankruptcy goes to the CEO. (CEO = chief executive officer)
  • Ted Kennedy was known as "the lion of the senate" because of his tremendous power and influence. (the senate = The United States Senate)

The word "lionize" is a verb. It means to give special treatment to someone who is famous.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio was lionized by the Italian press when he visited Italy.
  • The people of the small town lionized the Olympian when she returned with two gold medals.

Cultural notes: The Lion King was a very popular animated film released by Walt Disney in 1994. The Lion Sleeps Tonight is a familiar pop song from the 1950s. Here it is with the lyrics:

 

 

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