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Bite the bullet

Posted by Charlie Dixon on April 12, 2011 at 09:05

The book "The Life of Billy Dixon" was his own account of his life on the western frontier. He scouted for the army, hunted buffalo, freighted, etc. In one place in a discussion with anther man about a tight spot he was in fighting indians the other fellow asks, "Didn't you have yer bites". And the writer went on to explain that men would carry a crimped cartridge filled with cyinide to "bite" for a quick death rather than be captured by indians and likely tortured to death. This makes me wonder about the possible origin of the phrase, "To bite the bullet".