- a silver, Anglo-Gallic denier, issued during the reign of Henry III, bearing the figure of a lion.
- a gold coin of Scotland, issued c1400–1589, bearing the figure of a lion.
- any of various other coins bearing the figure of a lion.
Origin of lion
Word Origin for lion
late 12c., from Old French lion "lion," figuratively "hero," from Latin leonem (nominative leo) "lion; the constellation leo," from Greek leon (genitive leontos), from a non-Indo-European language, perhaps Semitic (cf. Hebrew labhi "lion," plural lebaim; Egyptian labai, lawai "lioness").
A general Germanic borrowing from Latin (cf. Old English leo, Anglian lea; Old Frisian lawa; Middle Dutch leuwe, Dutch leeuw; Old High German lewo, German Löwe); it is found in most European languages, often via Germanic (cf. Old Church Slavonic livu, Polish lew, Czech lev, Old Irish leon, Welsh llew). Used figuratively from c.1200 in an approving sense, "one who is fiercely brave," and a disapproving one, "tyrannical leader, greedy devourer." Lion's share "the greatest portion" is attested from 1701.
In addition to the idiom beginning with lion
, also see
- beard the lion
- throw to the wolves (lions)