In Reply to: The bigger they come... posted by ESC on August 03, 2010 at 16:57:
: : : Anyone know the origin of the phrase "The bigger they are the harder they fall"?
: : The saying is old and the idea is ancient. Traced back to "Dives and Pauper" by H. Parker. Current form attributed to British-born world heavyweight boxer Bob Fitzsimmons (1858-1917). "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Page 30. Source 2 points to the David and Goliath story in the Bible and, 2,300 years ago, The Histories of Herodotus: "It is the gods' custom to bring low all things of surpassing greatness." "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985). Page 25.
: The bigger they come (are), the harder they fall -- "...attributed to several turn-of-the-twentieth-century boxers including: Robert Fitzsimmons, who allegedly said it in 1902 before losing to a heavier man, James J. Jeffries. James J. Corbett, who fought Fitzsimmons, a taller man, in 1897. "Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches," second edition, edited by Christine Ammer, Checkmark Books, New York, 2006. Page 431.
As a piece of advice I have always considered it unreliable (as so often with these 'old saws'). I think 'the bigger they are, the harder they will hit you' is rather more accurate.