the bigger they are, the harder they fall

Commonly attributed to the boxer Robert Fitzsimmons, prior to a fight c 1900 (see quot. 1902). (Come is sometimes used instead of are; see quot. 1971.) A similar form is however found in earlier related proverbs, such as: 1493 H. PARKER Dives & Pauper R7v It is more synne in the man For the higher degre [position] the harder is the fal; 1670 J. RAY English Proverbs 102 The higher standing the lower fall. The idea can be traced back at least as far as the 4th-cent. AD Latin poet Claudian (In Rufinum I. 22 Tolluntur in altum Ut lapsu graviore ruant, men are raised on high in order that they may fall more heavily).

1902 National Police Gazette 27 Sept. 6 ‘If I can get close enough,’ he [Fitzsimmons] once said, ‘I’ll guarantee to stop almost anybody. The bigger the man, the heavier the fall.’

1927 ‘C. BOYER’ Mosaic Earring i. ‘I haven’t seen..even an imitation of the blossom I would have to find before I surrender my sweet freedom.’ ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall.’

1971 J. CLIFF (song-title) The bigger they come the harder they fall.

1981 H. & B. BRETT Promises to Keep ix. ‘I thought a big, beautiful place like this would be an exception to the general decline.’ ‘Sometimes,’ Mrs. Benjamin said sagely, ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall.’

2002 New Scientist 30 Mar. 14 (headline) The bigger you are, the harder you fall.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • the bigger they are, the harder they fall — This idiom means that the more powerful have more to lose, so when they suffer something bad, it is worse for them …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • the bigger they are the harder they fall — we can beat the big guys, big players fall harder, mind over matter    Look at all their big players! Don t worry. The bigger they are, the harder they fall! …   English idioms

  • (the) bigger they are, the harder they fall. — something that you say which means the more power or success a person has, the harder it is for them to accept losing it. She s very bitter about losing the directorship. The bigger they are, the harder they fall …   New idioms dictionary

  • the bigger they come the harder they fall — people in important positions lose more when they become unsuccessful and fail, the more powerful and affluent people are the more they suffer when they lived through defeat and disaster …   English contemporary dictionary

  • The Homer They Fall — «The Homer They Fall» «Гомер боксёр» Эпизод «Симпсонов» …   Википедия

  • The Homer They Fall — Episodio de Los Simpson Episodio n.º Temporada 8 Episodio 156 Código de producción 3F23 Guionista(s) Jonathan Collier Director Mark Kirkland Estrellas invitadas …   Wikipedia Español

  • bigger they are... — See the bigger they are the harder they fall …   English idioms

  • the\ more\ ---\ the\ more\ --- — • the er the er Used in two halves of a sentence to show that when there is more of the first, there is more of the second too. The more you eat. the fatter you will get. Get your report in when you can; the sooner, the better. The bigger they… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • The Idler (1758–1760) — This article is about the 18th century series of essays. For other publications called The Idler, see The Idler (disambiguation). The Idler was a series of 103 essays, all but twelve of them by Samuel Johnson, published in the London weekly the… …   Wikipedia

  • fall — noun see hasty climbers have sudden falls pride goes before a fall verb see fall down seven times, get up eight the apple never falls far from the tree between two stools one falls to the ground …   Proverbs new dictionary

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