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Fleas in a lion

Posted by David FG on January 03, 2005

In Reply to: Fleas in a lion posted by Jose Carlos on January 03, 2005

: Hi everyone:

: A curious expression in Portuguese: "catar pulgas num leão". Literally: to search for fleas in a lion. The usual meaning is to look for shortcomings in great personages in order to obscure their qualities. Like saying that Montaigne was homosexual, Andersen a pederast, and Shakespeare a miser. What is the closest expression in English?

: Thanks

: JC

I am not sure that that is what Jose Carlos means. I think he is looking for a phrase meaning something like: 'a mosquito biting a lion' and I am not sure that there is one in idiomatic English - or not one that I can think of at the moment.

I am sure that others can.