brass neck/nerve

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brass neck

1. noun Self-assured shamelessness, audacity, confidence, gall, or impudence. Primarily heard in UK. It takes a brass neck to make such an outlandish demand of me. The junior minister has shown a brass neck to the public regarding his plans to cut social welfare.
2. noun A person displaying or characterized by self-assured shamelessness, audacity, confidence, gall, or impudence. Primarily heard in UK. It's beyond me how a brass neck like him could be appointed as a manager.
3. verb To act with courageous self-confidence, especially in an audacious, impudent, or shameless manner. Primarily heard in UK. We didn't have enough money for the train ride, but we thought we'd just brass neck it if anyone gave us grief.
See also: brass, neck

brass neck

cheek or effrontery. informal
See also: brass, neck

ˌbrass ˈneck/ˈnerve

(British English, informal) a combination of confidence and lack of respect: I didn’t think she would have the brass neck to do that.
See also: brass, neck, nerve
References in periodicals archive ?
An obsession with percentages IN HIS latest attempt to denigrate those of us who had the brass nerve to vote Leave on June 23, Kenneth R Jarrett (Talkback, November 3) once again indulges in his stupid obsession with percentages, which he does whenever the result of any ballot in this country that does not suit him.
Judge Michael Taylor told Stewart: "Remarkably the occupant was in the garage when you had the brass nerve to go in and take a PS1,000 pedal cycle.
And just to add insult to injury I see today that the government has the brass nerve to ask that we all give more to charit y.
Unfortunately, I'm one of them; where I once used to light up, now I get on my high-horse about my right to breathe clean air when somebody has the brass nerve to do the same.
Then Vassell had his shot saved by Ricardo and the Portuguese keeper had the brass nerve to pick himself up, take the next penalty himself and score past James.
Just because she happens to be the Queen Mother and can cover the overdraft by selling some of the family silver is of no consequence and how George Tyndale has the brass nerve to defend and justify her actions (Sunday Mercury March 21) just amazes me.
He had the brass nerve to tell the cricket world he was "very proud" and "very pleased" with his England lads after they had gone down to the Kiwis' shadow Test team.
Ian Kirwan (Talkback, October 22) joins in the predictable criticism of the government for having the brass nerve to try to reduce the number of people who get taxpayers' money to top up their wages and salaries.
He also claims in his letter that our voting system is no longer fit for purpose by which he means, of course, that the voters of this country had the brass nerve to fail to elect a Labour government on May 7.
Private sector serves us better WHEN I had the brass nerve to express a belief in free enterprise I knew for certain that someone from the left would have a go at me and it comes as no surprise that leading the pack is Bournville's resident political guru Kenneth R Jarrett (Letters, January 27).
I find it completely unacceptable that these people demand the right to come into our country which, over the centuries, has been, in religious terms, Christian, and practice their alien faith without let or hindrance and also have the brass nerve to demand that we change our laws to suit them, whilst accepting without a second thought that non-Muslims who have the misfortune to live in Islamic countries can be routinely persecuted and murdered.
I now await the usual torrent of abusive letters which will descend on me, in the Mail, for having had the brass nerve to write in favour of the great Margaret.