Posted by Henry on August 07, 2003
In Reply to: " Cheek, Cheeky " posted by woody on August 06, 2003
: Where did this come from? eg. If a child is "Cheeky" they're being impudent. If a difficult or dangerous thing must be done and someone has the "Cheek" to do it, in other words has enough fortitude or is adventurous do attempt the deed.
I don't think cheek is required to do a brave act. It would be used for an impudent or selfish act.
Nerve might be used in both cases; there may be some differentiation between 'the nerve' and 'a nerve' on the lines of;
He had the nerve to do it - usually a brave act.
You've got a nerve to say that! - something impudent or misleading, taking someone else's credit perhaps.
He held his nerve - remained calm in the face of danger.