screw (one's) courage to the sticking place

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
It was almost as if the high school class nerd, the one with the pocket protectors and the ink-stained fingers, had screwed his courage to the sticking place (he knew, of course, that Lady Macbeth, speaking metaphorically, had told her husband to do so) and invited the homecoming queen to be his date to the prom.