Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Courage. The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear, e.g. it takes courage to stand up for your rights.

Courage is indeed a noble virtue. History is full of admirable examples of courageous people, while no less great acts of courage take place every day all around us. Hemingway described courage as "grace under pressure", which is a lovely way to put it.

Being human, sometimes you need a little help to overcome your fears.
The brewery in the photo above tells you "take courage" (with a pint or two of their beer). This is what we call "Dutch courage", "courage or bravery gained from intoxication by alcohol".

While this might not be a bad idea, for example, to find the courage to approach that tall, dark stranger in the local pub on a Saturday night, it's less recommendable for preparing to take your driving test or ask your boss for a raise, never mind for leading a crusade.

Following on the drinking theme, in Britain we also refer to courage as "bottle". If you "bottle out" it means you lose your courage or nerve to do something, e.g. "I was going to get up and sing at the karaoke, but I bottled out" (I was too afraid to do it!)


  1. I shouldn't bottle reading your worthy blog out! :D Very interesting, Inglesita, as well. Very nice linked with other expressions ;) A fun song for a fun post:

  2. Haha, good example of use - a little strange, but good. Great song too, thanks!