fall on (one's) sword

(redirected from fall on her sword)

fall on (one's) sword

To accept the responsibility or blame for a problem or mistake. Likened to the former practice of a soldier using his sword to take his own life for such a misdeed. The CEO fell on his sword when widespread corruption in the company was exposed.
See also: fall, on, sword

fall on one's sword

 
1. Lit. to fall down and be penetrated by one's own sword, accidentally or on purpose. He tripped and fell on his sword.
2. Fig. to accept defeat; to go to extremes to indicate one's defeat. (From the ancient practice of a military commander committing suicide this way rather than being captured.) So, because I lost the contract, I am supposed to fall on my sword or something?
See also: fall, on, sword

fall on one's sword

To resign in a way to accept responsibility for a mistake. In the era when warriors carried swords and shields, a soldier who was guilty of cowardice or another serious breach of military procedure was expected to do the “honorable thing” by taking his own life. He needed no assistance: he placed his sword's hilt on the ground and, resting the sharpened tip against his bare midsection, fell forward. Although the accepted mode of remorse was a pistol bullet to the brain in the age of firearms, the phrase remained. It is now used metaphorically: a political figure or business executive whose resignation is an expression of regret for a badly made decision will be said to have fallen on his (or her) sword.
See also: fall, on, sword