Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Fire-eaters.

 Fire-drake or Fire-dragon.Fire-new. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Persons ready to quarrel for anything. The allusion is to the jugglers who “eat” flaming tow, pour melted lead down their throats, and hold red-hot metal between their teeth. Richardson, in the seventeenth century—Signora Josephine Girardelli (the original Salamander), in the early part of the nineteenth century—and Chaubert, a Frenchman, of the present century, were the most noted of these exhibitors.   1
        “The great fire-eater lay unconscious upon the floor of the house.”—Nashville Banner.

 Fire-drake or Fire-dragon.Fire-new. 


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