Each month, we’ll take you to the more interesting side of language, all in an effort to unpack what is all this Mumbo Jumbo.
In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb
Many years ago, when most of the population was deeply concerned with weather as a means to produce food, the transitionary period from winter to spring was anticipated with relief. In modern times, men look forward to this period as bringing the first days of skirts.
Leaving frosty days behind brings a time of exceptionally stormy weather and plenty of rainfall. The aggressiveness of these days is compared to the character of a lion: moody, heartless and unpredictable. This is where spring violently begins.
Meanwhile, after waiting many months for a stiff drink, plants can finally relish in a period of moistened luxury and begin stretching to lofty heights. Once the lion has tired of its campaign of terror, it’ll scurry away.
Finally, the sunny, romance-filled spring has arrived as a thirsty lamb. With its fresh, gentle nature, it can at last exit its cover to come out and play. We are then left with an emerald paradise.
Now you try!
To use this phrase, imagine an activity that begins with intense emotion or passion and leaves you feeling weakened or relaxed.
“I went into last night’s party like a lion and came out like a lamb.”
“I started the last marathon like a lion, but quickly fell and quit like a lamb.”
“Yesterday, I was starving, so I ordered 2 large pizzas like a lion, but finished only 3 slices before crashing on the couch like a lamb.”
Use The Chinese Version!
虎头蛇尾 [hǔ tóu shé wěi]
“A big head like a tiger, a small tail like a snake.”
The Qing Dynasty period is known for common corruption among imperial officials, where people could buy positions.
To fix this, one Emperor ordered an anti-corruption campaign. The Governor in Hunan received the command and planned an exam for all the officers, stating that anyone who hired someone else to do the exam would be executed.
On the day of exam, the first person caught cheating was the Governor’s son. The Governor doesn’t keep his word and the campaign fails.