March 6, 2017
By Mark Paup

What Does It Mean That March “Comes in Like a Lion, Leaves Like a Lamb”?

Updated January 17, 2024

“March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb” means that March starts off with cold winters and ends with warmer, spring weather. Because March straddles the winter/spring line, this is the perfect idiom to describe the weather during this month.

Proverbial Unpredictability

The oldest known written reference to the “lion/lamb” proverb comes from English author Thomas Fuller, who included it in a 1732 volume of proverbs, “wise sentences, and witty sayings, ancient and modern.” It passed into many farmers’ almanacs after that—although we can assume that the phrase is much older than the 18th century.

The simple explanation of “in like a lion, out like a lamb” is that when March starts it’s still officially winter. When the month ends, it’s officially spring. The month opens on fierce cold weather and ends on much gentler weather.

But… is this really true? You’ve almost certainly seen the reverse happen, with pleasant warming at the start of the month that turns into a snarling cold by the end. Right now, Des Moines is enjoying periods when the temperature rises into the 60s—not exactly fierce like a lion!

And this is why the “in like a lion, out like a lamb” phrase often gets reversed. It isn’t because people don’t remember the statement, but because of the opposite happens frequently. The simple way to boil this down is that March is all lambs and all lions: you never know for certain what you’re going to get! This month has unpredictable weather, and that leads us to…

Handling Unpredictability with Predictability

Keeping your home comfortable through this odd month of animals of differing ferocity presents challenges. You may start using your air conditioning system for the first time this year. And you’ll almost certainly need your heating system still operating in top shape.

March is a good time to think about scheduling your annual air conditioning maintenance service from our HVAC professionals. This preps the AC to handle sudden swings in heat and ensures that it’s definitely ready for when summer starts. But you must also keep a close watch on your heating system’s performance since the cumulative stress over the winter often leads to repair issues in March. Never put off calling for heating repairs when there are signs of problems: call up our team and they’ll be there to defend your home from the lion!

Gold Plan Membership

To see that you have excellent maintenance for your air conditioning and heating (as well as your plumbing) sign up for a Gold Club Membership. We’re currently offering a yearly renewal deal for $99. And no matter what problems you may encounter either for your cooling or heating in March and all the months after, you can trust us for emergency HVAC repairs in Urbandale, IA and throughout the Des Moines area.

If you want a Service Provider who will treat you and your home like their own, then call Golden Rule today.

Contact Us Today for Heating & Cooling Service!

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