screw (one's) courage to the sticking place

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screw (one's) courage to the sticking place

To remain bold, resolute, determined, and courageous, especially in the face of possible danger, difficulty, hardship, or adversity. Taken from a line in Shakespeare's Macbeth: "We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail." Men, some of us may not make it back alive, but such is the nature of war; so screw your courage to the sticking place and show them what you're made of! I'm really nervous about asking Sarah out on a date, but I'm going to screw my courage to the sticking place and ask her by the end of the day.
See also: courage, place, screw, stick
References in periodicals archive ?
No "Out, damned spot ...", no "screw your courage to the sticking place ...", not even "The Devil damn thee black, thou cream-fac'd loon!" The Paper Cinema, in a coproduction at The Everyman with Battersea Arts Centre, has created a magical production of the turbulent Scottish tragedy that is part liveaction silent movie, part puppet show, part animation and part live music show.