grasp the nettle

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Related to nettle: stinging nettle

grasp the nettle

To approach or begin a difficult or unpleasant task directly and with the appropriate amount of energy. I know you don't like disciplining employees, but you've just got to grasp the nettle.
See also: grasp

grasp the nettle

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If you grasp the nettle, you deal with a problem or unpleasant task quickly and in a determined way. I think you should grasp the nettle. Speak to your manager and make it clear you regret your mistake and are determined it will never happen again. European leaders have yet to grasp the nettle of labour-market reform. Note: If you grasp a nettle firmly, it is less likely to sting you than if you just touch it lightly.
See also: grasp

grasp the nettle

tackle a difficulty boldly. British
This expression refers to a belief (recorded from the late 16th century onwards) enshrined in a rhyme quoted in Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock ( 1925 ): ‘If you gently touch a nettle it'll sting you for your pains; grasp it like a lad of mettle, an’ as soft as silk remains'.
1998 New Scientist The problem was that governments failed to grasp the nettle and scrap the system.
See also: grasp

grasp the ˈnettle

(British English) deal with a difficult matter, firmly and with courage: The government will have to grasp the nettle. If they don’t, the traffic congestion is going to get out of control.This expression refers to the belief that if you touch a nettle (= a plant with leaves that sting) lightly, you will be hurt, but not if you take a firm hold if it.
See also: grasp

grasp the nettle

To take on a difficult problem directly and energetically.
See also: grasp
References in periodicals archive ?
Avoid nettles near roadsides - they'll most likely be polluted.
If butterflies are the main aim, then it is essential that the patch be in a sunny, sheltered location - shady nettle patches are unlikely to attract butterflies.
If butterflies are the main aim then it is essential that the patch be in a sunny, sheltered location - shady nettle patches are unlikely to attract butterflies.
By financing medical equipment, Nettle helps implement new medical technologies in hospitals.
Add the nettles or greens to the pan along with 1/4 cup pasta water and stir until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes.
Add nettles and saute until wilted, 2 to 5 minutes.
uk ROB'S NETTLE RECIPE SUGGESTIONS NETTLE SOUP This is a classic dish and there are many variations.
She keeps them and herself warm, while Nettle is outside on the yard.
Below, Aronson looks at markings on the rocks at Nettle Springs in Tomo Kahni.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) otherwise known as barn nettle or English nettle, and her cousin wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), are plentiful in our area.
Place freshly picked nettles in a large bucket of clean water 1lb to 1 gallon of water is about right.
THE PERSON WHO MOST SHAPED MY FAITH: My grandmother, Nettle Walker.
Now, he, Decker, and their colleagues have used data related to sea nettle sightings since 1987 to develop a mathematical model that estimates the probability of finding the noxious jellyfish at various spots throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Among the creative recipes you'll find Curried Daylilies, Wild Carrot Croquettes, Sesame Rice with Stinging Nettles, Fiddleheads Almondine, Wisteria Sourdough Pancakes, Wild Garlic Salad, Black Locust Vanilla Pudding, and so much more.
Later in the year the nettle patch can provide food for the caterpillars or butterflies and the vast quantities of seed produced provides a late summer feast for birds.