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Re: Month of March sayings

Posted by ESC on March 05, 2003

In Reply to: Re: March posted by S. Ryan on March 05, 2003

: : A quote about March I heard this morning: "In like a lion and out like a lamb". Where did this come from--what does it mean?

: : Where we live in Michigan it means that the weather at the beginning of March is still roaring, like a lion, in the grips of winter, but eventually turns quickly to the gentle weather of spring ( lamblike ). I assume it is the same elsewhere.

Yes, weather may be fierce at the beginning of March but mild at the end. I couldn't find an origin. Just that it is a "proverb." More on March from AskOxford.com:

"March", according to the proverb, "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb", but what are its other proverbial associations?

March is traditionally wet and windy, so that dusty soil would be rarely seen: from the 16th century it was said that "a peck of March dust is worth a king's ransom" (a peck was a dry measure of two gallons). It was also thought that the weather in March could be an augury of what was to come: "So many mists in March, so many frosts in May." There is however one March proverb which is not to do with the weather: "On the first of March, crows begin to search" refers to the tradition that crows begin pairing on this day. The proverbial phrase "mad as a March hare" has a similar origin: a "March hare" is a brown hare in the breeding season, noted for its leaping, boxing, and chasing in circles. In literary terms, strong winds seem to be a constant factor. Thomas Hood in "The Bridge of Sighs" writes of his despairing heroine, "The bleak wind of March Made her tremble and shiver; But not the dark arch, Or the black flowing river." Kipling refers to "the clanging arch of steel-grey March", and Shakespeare notes that the daffodils of early spring can "take The winds of March with beauty". But perhaps the strongest literary and historical association of the month is not with the weather, but with the "ides", or middle day of the month, in the ancient Roman calendar. Julius Caesar, who in Shakespeare's play unwisely ignores the soothsayer's warning, "Beware the Ides of March!", was murdered on the Ides (15th) of March in a conspiracy led by Brutus and Cassius.
http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/quotations/quotefrom/hares/ Accessed March 5, 2003. AskOxford.com