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Lick into Shape

(To). According to tradition the cubs of bears are cast shapeless, and remain so till the dam has licked them into proper form.

So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care,
Each growing lump, and brings it to a bear.

Pope: Dunciad, i, 101.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Lick into Shape from Infoplease:

  • Lick into Shape - Lick into Shape (To). According to tradition the cubs of bears are cast shapeless, and remain so ...
  • lick: meaning and definitions - lick: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Cub - Cub An ill-mannered lout. The cub of a bear is said to have no shape until its dam has licked it ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: L - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "L"

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