Bite The Bullet

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When you have no other choice but to follow a course of action that you really don't want to, then you might bite the bullet.

If you think it is tough when you bite the bullet, chances are that it was worse for those who literally had to bite the bullet, for our figurative use now betrays literal usage of this in the past.

In the wars when people were injured, there were not anaesthetics available to help take away the pain when they needed medical attention.

Therefore if they needed to have a bullet removed from their leg or operations to try to save them performed, nothing could be offered to ease the pain - the best they could do was place a bullet between their teeth and 'bite the bullet' in some way to try and help them through the pain they were about to endure.

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