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English Idioms and Phrases: Bite the Bullet

Meaning

To 'bite the bullet' means to accept something that you don't want to do or something that isn't nice for example "I think I've got to bite the bullet and go and see the doctor" or "you better bite the bullet and take the medicine"

Origin

well as with most phrases it is a process of common sense and rumour but it seems a rather logical one with 'bite the bullet'

In history it seems that people were given things to bite down on in moments of intense pain for example when a person was whipped they were given a bit to bite down on (usually cloth or a piece of wood) to stop them screaming or to give them a little release.

Sometimes in the field of battle there was no time to take an injured man to the hospital so they had to perform some emergency surgery. Rumour has it that these soldiers were given a bullet to bite down on while the surgery was performed. Thus I'm going to have to bite the bullet.

Alternatives / Synonyms

abide, accept, stomach, bear, suffer

Similar Idioms

Bow to fate, face the music, leap into the breach, pay the piper, suck it up, swallow the pill, take one's medicine,take the rap

Comments

Roy Woodhouse (author) from London, England on November 18, 2012:

Do, and please let me know what you think... :)

zampano on November 17, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

Thnks Roy. I'll try those.

Roy Woodhouse (author) from London, England on November 17, 2012:

The Two Ronnies were a fantastic duo. So are you a big fan of British comedy? I can recommend others like 'Big Train', 'Monty Pythons Flying Circus' and 'French and Saunders' were some very good sketch based comedy, with the latter being another double act.

zampano on November 17, 2012:

Four candles ?

Just great.

Roy Woodhouse (author) from London, England on November 17, 2012:

I love the two Ronnies. They are an amazing example of using the English language to produce comedy. Their play on pronunciation was incredible.. have you ever seen the sketch about "fork handles"?

zampano on November 16, 2012:

Thanks for such interesting hubs.

Do you know the two Ronnies ? (it's british)

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