[Phrases] Bite The Bullet

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Bite the bullet means facing up to doing something difficult or unpleasant; stoically avoid showing fear or distress.

According to the Freedictionary, this phrase is of military origin, but the precise allusion is uncertain. Some say it referred to the treatment of a wounded soldier without anesthesia so that he would be asked to bite on a lead bullet during treatment. Also, Francis Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1796) holds that grenadiers being disciplined with the cat-o’nine-tails (a whip) would bite on a bullet to avoid crying out in pain. Therefore, the usage of this phrase was extended to the tough spirit of getting through the pain or troubles.

For example,

You just have to bite the bullet and make the best of it.

Getting your car repaired is often an expensive business, but all you can do is bite the bullet and pay up.

There are some other interesting phrases about “bite“. Follow me to learn about them!


1. bite the dust

a person, to die or to become unpopular or irrelevant

Sadly, it doesn’t take long for the latest technological innovations to bite the dust.

We were so lucky to avoid that massive accident—we might have bitten the dust!

2. bite the biscuit

to face up to, undertake, or confront some unpleasant or risky situation, action, or responsibility

I guess we’d better bite the biscuit and get this over with.

You were the only person here when the television broke, so you might as well bite the biscuit and tell me the truth.

3. bite your tongue!

an expression of frustration with what someone is saying then ask him to stop talking

A: “Oh, I don’t think I’m going to get the job.” B: “Bite your tongue! You don’t know that for sure.”

All I can do is to bite my tongue if I want to keep my job.

4. barking dog never bites

to describe someone who makes threats all the time seldom carries out the threats

Stewart may yell a lot, but I doubt he’ll do anything to you—a barking dog never bites.

A barking dog never bites. My boss threatens to fire me at least once a week, but a barking dog never bites.


That’s all for [Phrases] today. Now try to make at least one sentence with the phrases that you like! That will help you to remember them.

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