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Difference between Bold as a lion and Bold as an Essex lion

bold as a lionvery brave and daring, especially in times of danger:

  • He might have behaved timidly in life; in the book he would be bold as a lion.

bold as an Essex lion—(UK ironic) said of a very meek person:

  • Oh! yes, he is as bold as an Essex lion, especially when there is no danger about.

Note: Neither expression correlates in meaning with the phrase bold as brass—used of a shameless, impudent person:

  • He came into my office as bold as brass and told me they would stop work if they didn’t get any more money.