Ancient wisdom, or my own? (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Wed Oct 23 15:29:07 UTC 2013

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

> Don't y'all reckon that the saying about riding a tiger could be
> considered a variant of the proverbial "holding a tiger by the tail"
> (it is dangerous to keep holding on, but deadly to let go)--a metaphor
> for certain dilemmas?  Versions of that concept appear at least as
> early of the 1850s.*   And it, in turn, is perhaps an adaptation of
> proverbial "holding a wolf by the ears," current in Classical times,
> and re-introduced to Europe (including England) by Erasmus's _Adagia_
> in the early 16th century.

OED has "fight the tiger" (1851) and "bucking the tiger" (1863) = to
play the gambling game of faro.  Could the phrase be related to kicking
the habit of gambling?
> * For some reason (or no reason), the "advanced search" feature for
> Google Books no longer allows me to search by date.  What's up with
> that??
Try this link:

And they've hidden the google news archive search a little more deeply,

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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