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The British Stiff Upper Lip
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Keep a stiff upper lip - Keep your chin up

The British have always been regarded as being unemotional. But this has helped to develop the still of keeping a stiff upper lip.

Keep a stiff upper lip
(Also used as "have/wear/maintain a stiff upper lip)

(1). to face misfortune bravely and resolutely
(b). to suppress the display of any emotion.

Usage: And men are brought up with this awful burden of having to have a stiff upper lip and not crying at all.

James Gilray - "The death of Admiral Lord Nelson"

According to the accounts, Nelson said: "Take care of my dear Lady Hamilton, Hardy, take care of poor Lady  Hamilton."  He paused then said very faintly, "Kiss me, Hardy."  This, Hardy did, on the cheek.  Nelson then said, "Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty."   Hardy rose to his feet, paused silently, then knelt again and kissed Nelson on the forehead.  Hardy may well have been "unsettled" about Nelson's dying words, but he understood the importance of making a personal gesture in circumstances that were certain to be recorded for posterity.  Every sailor in the fleet knew that when the inevitable battle between two large and powerful fleets eventually took  place it would be a moment in history and to those who knew that Nelson was dying it was doubly important that every detail should be reported.

Keeping a stiff upper lip is pretty hard to do and that's just the idea behind it. When someone gets upset, his lips usually tremble. Keeping a stiff upper lip is supposed to hide your emotions. This expression dates back to the 1800s, but is still used today.

So why just the upper lip and not the lower? Well, most men of the era had mustaches and a top lip was more noticeable if it was quivering.

Today, we might also use the expression "keep your chin up," which is similar in meaning. When someone is sad or depressed, his head usually drops and hischin tucks under. A chin held high indicates self-satisfaction and happiness. So the next time you get a lower grade than you expected on that history quiz, keep your chin up and study harder next time!

Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip here

After a British armoured vehicle ran over a land mine in Bosnia, a military spokesman reported that; “The crew were shaken but there were no injuries.” When an enterprising reporter asked the spokesman what the men could do to protect themselves from such incidents in the future, the unflappable spokesman offered that they could: “Drive more carefully.”

Zulu Zulu

Stiff-upper-lip bravery in a fight against overwhelming odds is celebrated in director Cy Endfield's widescreen extravaganza Zulu, based on the real-life story of a small group of British soldiers in 1879 who defended a mission station in Natal, Africa against an attack by 4000 Zulu warriors. There are some nice performances here, including Michael Caine in his breakthrough role as a smug, aristocratic British officer, and Stanley Baker as a gutsy British engineer who takes command of the small outpost.

The stiff upper lip appears repeatedly in drama, comedy, literatuure, and films.

In the TV comedy, "It ain't half hot mum", the Sargeant Major is always reminding his men to "keep your chins up lovely boys".

Jeeve and Worcester have to keep stiff upper lips in the P G Wodehouse novel. Worcester has to do it because it is demanded of English Gentlement, Jeeves has to do it because he is ordered so to do.

Stiff Upper Lips also makes an appearance as a comedy based on the concept of a period drama.

I am looking for further contributions of images that represent the very British concept of the Stiff Upper Lipp.

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