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Lion Etymology[edit]

Old French lion is the source of English lion, and the Old French word comes from Latin leō, leōnis. After that the etymology is less clear. The Latin word is related somehow to Greek leōn, leontos (earlier *lewōn, *lewontos), which appears in the name of the Spartan king Leonidas, “Lion's son,” who perished at Thermopylae. The Greek word is somehow related to Coptic labai, laboi, “lioness.” In turn, Coptic labai is borrowed from a Semitic source related to Hebrew lābī’ and Akkadian labbu. There is also a native ancient Egyptian word, rw (where r can stand for either r or l and vowels were not indicated), which is surely related as well. Since lions were native to Africa, Asia, and Europe in ancient times (Aristotle tells us there were lions in Macedon in his day), we have no way of ascertaining who borrowed which word from whom. [1] —This unsigned comment was added by Andrew massyn (talkcontribs) at 12:37, 21 October 2006.


Lion - The lion is the most popular beast in heraldry. He appears in the arms of Great Britian, Denmark, Spain, Holland, Bohemia, Saxony and numerous lesser countries. As early as 1127 Henry I used the lion as an ornament on a shield. Of the 918 bannerets of Edward II, 225 bore lions. The early English heralds seem to have confused the lion with the leopard. While never drawn spotted as the real leopard, he was described in most attitudes as leo-pardé, or a lion as a leopard. The lion is drawn in about 30 attitudes, but it is seldom he is seen in other than rampant or passant. [2] —This unsigned comment was added by Andrew massyn (talkcontribs) at 12:37, 21 October 2006.

Lion = Famous Person?[edit]

Is this an archaic definition?-doesn't seem right. 11:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

male lion individual[edit]

The coordinate terms refer to 'male lion individual' as does the French entry below, but there's no English entry for it. Should there be? Sounds likely to me, e.g. lion and lioness. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:53, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

RFD discussion.[edit]

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Sense four - how can a word that literally means "lion", also be a dated metaphor for "lion"? Furius (talk) 03:19, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

My guess is that they meant a different definition of lion#English. --WikiTiki89 08:34, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but only because I looked it up on fr:lion. Never heard of this meaning in French or in English. Surely we can consider this closed. We could RFV it if we wanted to, but the "famous person" sense surely can't be inadmissible or redundant to another sense. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:52, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Ah. That makes sense. Huzzah!Furius (talk) 11:02, 15 November 2012 (UTC)