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"big beast"

Posted by David FG on June 04, 2006

In Reply to: "Big beast" posted by Olya on June 04, 2006

: What is the meaning and origin of the phrase "big beast" (also used attrubutively: "big-beast")? Could you give some dictionary definitions?

I am most familiar with the phrase 'a big beast' in a political context. 'Kenneth Clark is one of the big beasts in the Tory jungle' for example. It means a senior figure: a tough political fighter, 'heavyweight'.

The origin, I would have thought, is fairly clear: a big beast in the literal sense being a large and formidable animal.