a stiff upper lip

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 ?
I'm a man in my late 60s and have always found it hard to let go of my emotions, always retaining a stiff upper lip.
Former One Direction's Niall Horan flirts with Lorraine Kelly The fact there are all these people who think our president is representing the common man, I mean, come on, give me a break Actor Woody Harrelson I'm not a woman, so I don't have bad days Russian President Vladimir Putin A stiff upper lip just means that you're not handling it.
Keeping a stiff upper lip may help certain chemotherapy drugs fight cancer.
A STIFF upper lip in the older generation is stopping some from reporting medical conditions that then end up killing them, a recent report tells us.
Summary: Researchers claim a stiff upper lip could be putting British people in mortal danger from cancer.
Football, a stiff upper lip, a love of the monarchy and the imperial weighing system rounded out the top ten.
It will be a case of showing a stiff upper lip throughout November at the Ricoh Arena to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
It may call for more than a stiff upper lip that saw us through the Blitz to survive.
To the Victorians, a stiff upper lip was as essential as starched collars and a good train service.
The poll found that "old Britain" is epitomised in the nation's collective consciousness by a stiff upper lip, impeccable manners and wartime leader Winston Churchill.
But the times, they do a-change, and if Temple seems a bit melancholy about the freak flag flying at half-mast these days, he's keeping a stiff upper lip.
They would play the game correctly, with a stiff upper lip but we did it right.
Behnke wasn't certain, however, whether they would be able to continue showing a stiff upper lip if the strike goes on for another week.
Airline gives us gay men in their everyday working environment who react to the volatility and irrational behavior of those around them with a stiff upper lip and an unflappable sense of humor, all without caving in to the absurd demands placed on them.
The brainchild of Superintendent Gary Copson of the East London Force, Copson acknowledges receipt of such a card may be "unpleasant" for the recipient, but urges a stiff upper lip when the crooks complain of shattered feelings and ruined birthday parties.