Friday, January 20, 2012

Keeping A Stiff Upper Lip

My pins are out but my thumb and forefinger seem to have gone into rigamortis. For some reason I assumed I would be able to drive, cook, dress myself and type feverishly on a computer keyboard.

I have weeks of horrible physiotherapy ahead (and those exercises really hurt) - but I am back at work and keeping a stiff upper lip in true English fashion.

What is the definition of a stiff upper lip?  "To face misfortune bravely" or "to suppress the display of any emotion." In my case, it's the former and not the latter. Ask my husband.

The origins of the stiff upper lip date back to the 1800's. The phrase traditionally has been used to describe an attribute of the British people (the class above stairs if you are following Downton Abbey). However, rumor has it (thank you Wikipedia) that its earliest known example came from a publication called the "Massachusetts Spy" for 14 June 1815. "I kept a stiff upper lip, and bought license to sell my goods."

So why just the upper lip and not the lower? Maybe it had something to do with the enormous mustaches most men sported in those days making the top lip more noticeable when quivering.