take a/the bullet (for someone)

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take a/the bullet (for someone)

1. Literally, to jump in front of and absorb the impact of a bullet from a gun being fired at someone else. It's one of the basic duties of bodyguards to take the bullet for their clients if someone tries to kill them.
2. By extension, to accept or put oneself in the way of some misfortune, difficulty, blame, or danger as a means of protecting someone else. I don't know why you always feel like you have to take the bullet for your bosses when they screw up. They never reward your loyalty in any way. I used to take a lot of bullets when I worked as a PR representative for the senator.
See also: bullet, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Omentic said his phone first took the bullet and because of that, he only suffered a minor injury on his right face.
Fortunately, it seems that the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development never took the bullet.
Tight security measures were taken by the security forces around the hospital and bomb squad took the bullet for an inspection.
But then, as now, it was the messenger who took the bullet for embarrassing police and government.
His common law wife took the bullet through her temple.
Surgeons at Camp Bastion took the bullet out and I don't know what they have done with it.
History does indeed show that the attempted assassination of Victoria was thwarted pretty much at source but the fact remains - whether he was hit or not - that Prince Albert took the bullet on behalf of his wife and she was wildly indebted to him thereafter.
Mr Jones said he took the bullet as a souvenir and he didn't have access to the gun.
Then, if we know how long it took the bullet to travel a known distance we can calculate the speed.
And he made certain it was the other guy who took the bullet.
For some, history went back on track on March 30, 1981, when Ronald Reagan took the bullet and lived; for others, it never has.
Gavin's pal Michael Farrell looked with tears in his eyes at the coffin of his best friend who he says took the bullet for him.
A third knows that it could have been his name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, had it not been for the radio pack that took the bullet and saved his life.
Cempron distracted the enemy and took the bullet for PO2 Christopher Lalan, who became the lone survivor from 55th special action company.
James Taranto, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, made the remark in response to a story in the New York Post stating that three young men used their bodies as shields and took the bullets from Batman obsessed killer James Holmes intended for their loved ones.
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