courage


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have the courage of (one's) convictions

To have the confidence to act or behave in accordance with one's beliefs or ideologies, especially in the face of resistance, criticism, or persecution. The governor was presented with a bribe to help the corporation avoid regulation, but she had the courage of her conviction to refuse such an offer.
See also: conviction, courage, have, of

liquid courage

slang The decrease in timidity or inhibition that comes from imbibing alcoholic beverages. I'm planning on proposing to Mary tonight, but I think I need a little liquid courage first!
See also: courage, liquid

screw (one's) courage to the sticking place

To remain bold, resolute, determined, and courageous, especially in the face of possible danger, difficulty, hardship, or adversity. Taken from a line in Shakespeare's Macbeth: "We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail." Men, some of us may not make it back alive, but such is the nature of war; so screw your courage to the sticking place and show them what you're made of! I'm really nervous about asking Sarah out on a date, but I'm going to screw my courage to the sticking place and ask her by the end of the day.
See also: courage, place, screw, stick

courage of (one's) convictions

Strong faith or confidence in one's beliefs. Often used in the phrase "have the courage of one's convictions." I need to have the courage of my convictions any time I'm around my parents—they always try to dissuade me from pursuing a career as a screenwriter. I'm always impressed with Stella—nothing can shake the courage of her convictions in her crusade for social justice.
See also: conviction, courage, of

geneva courage

Alcohol-induced bravery or braggadocio. "Geneva" is a type of gin made in the Netherlands. There goes Rich, picking a fight with someone at the bar. Looks like the geneva courage has kicked in! He thinks he's the smartest guy in the room when he's feeling some geneva courage.
See also: courage

screw up (one's) courage to the sticking place

To remain bold, resolute, determined, and courageous, especially in the face of possible danger, difficulty, hardship, or adversity. Men, some of us may not make it back alive, but such is the nature of war; so screw up your courage to the sticking place and show them what you're made of! I'm really nervous about asking Sarah out on a date, but I just need to screw up my courage to the sticking place and go through with it.
See also: courage, place, screw, stick, up

Dutch courage

1. Liquor. Come down to the bar and join us in drinking some Dutch courage!
2. The false sense of confidence induced by alcohol consumption. Joe gets into a lot of fights when he drinks, and I suspect that Dutch courage is to blame.
3. Drugs. You didn't bring any Dutch courage? Man, I need to get high tonight!
See also: courage, Dutch

screw up (one's) courage

To emotionally prepare oneself to do a frightening or overwhelming task. I'm really nervous about asking Sarah out on a date, but I just need to screw up my courage and go through with it.
See also: courage, screw, up

Dutch courage

unusual or artificial courage arising from the influence of alcohol. (Viewed by some as insulting to the Dutch.) It was Dutch courage that made the football fan attack the policeman. It will take a bit of Dutch courage to make an after-dinner speech.
See also: courage, Dutch

get enough courage up

(to do something) Go to get enough nerve up (to do something).
See also: courage, enough, get, up

get enough nerve up (to do something)

 and get enough courage up (to do something); get enough guts up (to do something); get enough pluck up (to do something); get enough spunk up (to do something); get the nerve up (to do something); get the courage up (to do something); get the guts up (to do something); get the pluck up (to do something); get the spunk up (to do something)
Fig. to work up enough courage to do something. I hope I can get enough nerve up to ask her for her autograph. I wanted to do it, but I couldn't get up enough nerve. I thought he would never get up the courage to ask me for a date.
See also: enough, get, nerve, up

get the courage up

(to do something) Go to get enough nerve up (to do something).
See also: courage, get, up

have the courage of one's convictions

to have enough courage and determination to carry out one's goals. It's fine to have noble goals in life and to believe in great things. If you don't have the courage of your convictions, you'll never reach your goals. Jane was successful because she had the courage of her convictions.
See also: conviction, courage, have, of

pluck up someone's courage

to bolster someone's, including one's own, courage. I hope you are able to pluck up your courage so that you can do what has to be done. Some good advice from a friend helped pluck up my courage.
See also: courage, pluck, up

screw up one's courage

Fig. to build up one's courage. I guess I have to screw up my courage and go to the dentist. I spent all morning screwing up my courage to take my driver's test.
See also: courage, screw, up

courage of one's convictions, have the

Behave according to one's beliefs. For example, Carl wouldn't give his best friend any of the test answers; he had the courage of his convictions . This expression is believed to have originated as a translation of the French le courage de son opinion ("the courage of his opinion"), dating from the mid-1800s and at first so used. By the late 1800s it had changed to the present form.
See also: courage, have, of

Dutch courage

False courage acquired by drinking liquor, as in He had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage. This idiom alludes to the reputed heavy drinking of the Dutch, and was first referred to in Edmund Waller's Instructions to a Painter (1665): "The Dutch their wine, and all their brandy lose, Disarm'd of that from which their courage grows."
See also: courage, Dutch

pluck up one's courage

Also, screw up one's courage. Force oneself to overcome fear or timidity, as in He was really afraid of slipping on the ice, but he plucked up his courage and ventured down the driveway , or I screwed up my courage and dove off the high board. The first term uses pluck in the sense of "make a forcible effort"; Shakespeare put it as "Pluck up thy spirits" ( The Taming of the Shrew, 4:3). The variant derives from the use of screw to mean "force or strain by means of a screw."
See also: courage, pluck, up

Dutch courage

mainly BRITISH
If you talk about Dutch courage, you mean the feeling of bravery and confidence in yourself that results from drinking alcohol. The survey also noted how some performers used a little Dutch courage to overcome inhibitions. Sometimes before leaving I would drink a glass of vodka on the stairs for Dutch courage. Note: In the past, the Dutch had a reputation for drinking a lot of alcohol.
See also: courage, Dutch

have the courage of your convictions

act on your beliefs despite danger or disapproval.
1998 Times The knives were out for us and we had to have the courage of our convictions.
See also: conviction, courage, have, of

take your courage in both hands

nerve yourself to do something that frightens you.
See also: both, courage, hand, take

Dutch courage

bravery induced by drinking alcohol.
The phrase Dutch courage stems from a long-standing British belief that the Dutch are extraordinarily heavy drinkers.
See also: courage, Dutch

screw up your courage

summon up all your courage; force yourself to be brave.
See also: courage, screw, up

have/lack the courage of your conˈvictions

be/not be brave enough to do what you believe to be right: You say that cruelty to animals is wrong, so why not have the courage of your convictions and join our campaign?
See also: conviction, courage, have, lack, of

pluck/screw/summon up (your/the) ˈcourage (to do something)

force yourself to be brave enough to do something: I had liked her for a long time, and eventually I plucked up the courage to ask her out.I finally screwed up my courage and went to the dentist.
See also: courage, pluck, screw, summon, up

take your ˌcourage in both ˈhands

decide to do something very brave: I saw him screaming for help far out from the shore, so I took my courage in both hands and swam out to save him.
See also: both, courage, hand, take

ˌDutch ˈcourage

(British English, informal) courage or confidence that you get by drinking alcohol: I was afraid of having to tell my wife about what had happened, so I went to the pub to get some Dutch courage.
See also: courage, Dutch

Dutch courage

1. n. liquor; false courage from drinking liquor. A couple of shots of Dutch courage, and he was ready to face anything.
2. n. drugs. Max deals in Dutch courage, as he calls it.
See also: courage, Dutch

Dutch courage

Bravery acquired by drinking alcohol. Political and economic rivals during the 17th century, England and Holland fought a series of wars. English propagandists spread the rumor that Dutch soldiers and sailors developed the necessary nerve to fight only after drinking gin and other alcoholic beverages. The Dutch haven't fared well in the English language. Other unflattering phrases are “Dutch treat (you pay for only yourself), “Dutch uncle” (a stern person, especially one who gave you a lecture you weren't happy about receiving), and “double Dutch” (gibberish).
See also: courage, Dutch
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