Word of the Day

stiff upper lip

Remaining calm and hiding from others what you are feeling in an unpleasant, stressful or difficult situation

The tradition of keeping a ‘stiff upper lip’ has been part of British culture since the days of the Empire. We Brits do not like others to know we are not coping well with a situation causing us stress or that we are feeling anxious and depressed. Even our greatest war leader, Sir Winston Churchill, suffered from regular bouts of depression that he called his ‘black dog’.

Unlike some cultures, the overt expression of emotion is definitely not for us. However, is this attitude changing?

Prince Harry’s recent revelation about how he struggled to cope with the death of his mother, Princess Diana, has brought this matter very much to public attention. During an interview with The Telegraph’s Hannah Furness, the Prince revealed how he eventually sought counselling to help him deal with his grief.

The Prince’s disclosure should help remove the stigma often associated with the admission that an individual is struggling to cope with mental health issues. This will surely encourage sufferers to follow his example by seeking professional help.

stiff upper lip

a quality of remaining calm and not letting other people see what you are really feeling in a difficult or unpleasant situation

Through all these tragedies he kept a stiff upper lip.


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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

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