backbone

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success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone

Success is achieved through dedication and effort, not hopes and dreams or wishful thinking. You need to work on your writing every single day if you really want to be a famous author because success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.
See also: depend, not, on, success

put (one's) backbone into (something)

To exert a strong effort toward (doing) something. Come on, we need to get this car off the road. Put your backbone into it and push! It's clear that the legislators have put their backbones into crafting a bill that will find support across party lines, as well in the general population.
See also: backbone, put

to the backbone

Through and through; thoroughly; in every manner or respect. The fellow is stubborn to the backbone; he won't even listen to my plan the whole way through! Though he grew up in America, Henry is still British to the backbone.
See also: backbone

put backbone into (one)

To embolden one; to give one courage or determination. All of their encouragement put backbone into me to tell the boss we wanted better working conditions. She was afraid of changing careers, but the thought of staying in this dead end job forever put backbone into Janet.
See also: backbone, put

put backbone into someone

encourage someone to behave resolutely.
As a metaphor for ‘firmness of character’, backbone dates from the mid 19th century.
1998 Spectator There is a widespread belief that if only Mrs Thatcher had still been in No. 10, she would have put backbone into Bush and got rid of Saddam .
See also: backbone, put, someone

to the backbone

in every respect; through and through.
See also: backbone

backbone

n. courage; integrity. (Colloquial.) If you had any backbone, you would be able to deal with this.
References in periodicals archive ?
Second, the big backbone providers are moving to--or in some cases upgrading existing--fibre, adding new technologies like DWDM to increase bandwidth for the expected spike in demand for broadband services, and to deal with exponentially increasing network traffic.