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a possible explanation for "bite the bullet"

Posted by David FG on April 02, 2010 at 11:25

In Reply to: a possible explanation for "bite the bullet" posted by Victor Rivas on April 02, 2010 at 10:26:

: I have an explanation of the expression "bite the bullet", in connection to "bite the bullet end of the cartridge":

: Consider the process of reloading a muzzle-loaded rifle in the times when cartridges were in use:
: 1. Take the new cartridge into your hand so that the bullet end is up.
: 2. Bite the bullet end to tear the cartridge open and take the bullet into your mouth.
: 3. Pour the powder into the muzzle.
: 4. Spit the bullet into the muzzle.
: 5. Put the cartridge envelop into the muzzle as a wad.
: 6. Push everything down.

: I believe those cartridges were used mostly in the military, and the process was associated primarily with being in a battlefield and preparing for action.

But is that really consistent with the meaning of the phrase, which is to bravely accept the difficulties of a situation?