Keep your chin up


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Keep your chin up'?

Remain cheerful in a difficult situation.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Keep your chin up'?

This sounds like one of those rousing maxims that were drilled into the young of Victorian England – like keep a stiff upper lip. Perhaps surprisingly, the phrase is American. The first use of it that I can find is from the Pennsylvania newspaper The Evening Democrat, October 1900, under the heading Epigrams Upon the Health-giving Qualities of Mirth:

“Keep your chin up. Don’t take your troubles to bed with you – hang them on a chair with your trousers or drop them in a glass of water with your teeth.” – [they were easily amused in Pennsylvania in 1900].

See also: the List of Proverbs.

See other phrases that were coined in the USA.

Trend of keep your chin up in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.