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English Idioms and Phrases: Bite the Bullet

Updated on November 1, 2012


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"



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


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    • Roy Woodhouse profile image

      Roy Woodhouse 5 years ago from London, England

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

    • profile image

      zampano 5 years ago

      Thnks Roy. I'll try those.

    • Roy Woodhouse profile image

      Roy Woodhouse 5 years ago from London, England

      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.

    • profile image

      zampano 5 years ago

      Four candles ?

      Just great.

    • Roy Woodhouse profile image

      Roy Woodhouse 5 years ago from London, England

      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"?

    • profile image

      zampano 5 years ago

      Thanks for such interesting hubs.

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


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