a stiff upper lip

(redirected from stiff upper lip)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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 ?
But the most poignant case of stiff upper lip came from a friend of a friend who visited his shriveled-up old pal who died from cancer days later.
The latest AC/DC album is the first with Black in the title since the classic Back In Black and the band's first since 2000's Stiff Upper Lip.
They also include roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Winnie the Pooh, Sergeant Pepper and the stiff upper lip.
Keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of emotion is pretty hard to do, as I can testify.
Whatever happened to our traditional British stiff upper lip and stoicism in the face of the inevitable?
There is still that situation where you never show emotion, you never show how you feel - the typical British stiff upper lip, if you like.
FORGET the stiff upper lip, British men are a bunch of cry babies.
Who cares if the stiff upper lip disappeared - it's a big man who is not afraid to cry.
But the Prince and heir to the throne adopted a British stiff upper lip and carried on regardless.
Brace yourself for the return of the programme which laughs in the face of the establishment stiff upper lip - Large is back.
The Stiff Upper Lip tour was, if anything, a scrawny twin of the Ballbreaker trek.
While the more open Spanish and Greeks may be happy to hug a stranger to show their affection, English people are very good at using a firm handshake, stiff upper lip and respectful eye contact to show their sense of reserve and decorum.
But when it comes to bartering back home, our stiff upper lip gets in the way.
LEW BEAUTY: Hamilton soaks up the glory as fed-up Fernando Alonso tries to keep a stiff upper lip
Dr Mark Potter, a patron of the Meningitis Trust, said: "The stiff upper lip dies hard among British males.