a stiff upper lip

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a stiff upper lip

The ability to remain stoic during difficult situations. Despite all of the hardships he faced, John always kept a stiff upper lip and didn't let anything bother him. The players were devastated after losing the championship, but their coach encouraged them to keep a stiff upper lip and focus on doing better next year.
See also: lip, stiff, upper

a stiff upper lip

COMMON If someone has a stiff upper lip, they hide their emotions and do not let other people see if they are upset. I had always believed in keeping a stiff upper lip, crying in private, and putting on my best face for family and friends. His pathetic attempt to maintain a stiff upper lip failed. Note: You can also refer to the attitude or behaviour of people who do not like to show their emotions as the stiff upper lip. Another problem is the British stiff upper lip which prevents many patients from asking for painkillers for fear of appearing weak. Note: Not showing emotions is thought to be a national characteristic of the English.
See also: lip, stiff, upper

a stiff upper lip

a quality of uncomplaining stoicism.
This is a characteristic particularly associated with the British but the phrase is apparently North American in origin, dating back to the mid 19th century. It is used, for example, in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852 .
1998 Spectator The Princess…as her final gift to the British people, had unstarched their stiff upper lips.
See also: lip, stiff, upper

(keep) a stiff upper ˈlip

keep calm and hide your feelings when you are in pain or in a difficult situation: The English gentleman is famous for his stiff upper lip.
See also: lip, stiff, upper
References in periodicals archive ?
And I ask whether the stiff upper lip still has any place in our society.
BRITS are shedding their traditional stiff upper lip image - and are now more likely to shed tears in public instead, a survey shows.
Todd, a master of "British stiff upper lip acting", had been suffering from cancer and died last night.
Bridie Taylor, the Meningitis Trust's education and services director, said: "The stiff upper lip dies hard among British males.
But the most peculiar icon of all is the stiff upper lip.
If the Trinidad & Tobago fans were disappointed to come so close to such a monumental result, they were doing their best to hide it -- no stiff upper lip necessary.
Many simply adopt a British stiff upper lip, ignore their stress and get on with it.
He always brought me up to put on the stiff upper lip and get on with it, he used to call me a wimp if I became too emotional.
What was once thought of as a land of sexual prudishness and that notorious stiff upper lip is now the country where cabinet ministers are openly gay, where the military ban on gay service members seems to be drawing to a close, and where royalty is plainly at ease with changing attitudes toward homosexuality.
Bravo to Wills, Kate and Harry for breaking away from the stiff upper lip attitude.
IT may have sounded like words from the ark, having emerged via the stiff upper lip of retiring Tory MP Sir Nicholas Winterton.
At other times, the good old British stiff upper lip seems to prevent the cast from really going with the Andalucian flow.
BRITNEY Spears keeps a stiff upper lip about her troubles - after a botched beauty treatment gave her a trout pout.
They also include roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Winnie the Pooh, and the stiff upper lip.
They also include roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Winnie the Pooh, Sergeant Pepper and the stiff upper lip.