Phrase: To Bite The Bullet

Our phrase of the week is: To bite the bullet.

This phrase is a relatively recent construction, its first known recording was in 1891 where it was used in Rudyard Kipling’s The light that failed, but it was likely in common parlance by that time.

The phrase was originally very literal; on the battlefields medics would often have to operate without anaesthetic, is was usual to get the patient to ‘bite down’ on something hard and the one thing that they had plenty of was bullets, so these were often used.

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