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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2020-09-30 12:19:22

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2471

buy/bite the bullet/dust/ghost etc.

My sister posts:

My boss says he’ll keep using our old truck until it bites the ghost. When I laughed, he corrected himself. He will drive it until it buys the bullet.

There are other people that are somehow in the metaphorical market for bullets:

All information is disclosed confidentially — he doesn’t want it made public until he “buys the bullet” (his term for dying), something he says will never happen as long as he doesn’t think about it.

Maryam s boyfriend is not too happy with this, but he soon buys the bullet after being pursued by toy tanks and a puma!

Okay, bought the bullet and ordered a couple new swimsuits last week. They came in today and I actually like both

I always knew that They would end up like today They bought the bullet And they paid with hand grenades

My worst tech purchase ever – the IBM PC Jr […] – I can’t even remember what I did with mine after I finally bought the bullet and replaced it with an actually useful computer.

So I recently bought the bullet and purchased a monitor for my PS4 Pro (mainly to get away from the living room and my kids)

This is part of a schmear of mangled phrases I have documented, such as bite the ghost, give up the dust, bite the farm, bite the dust < bite the bullet, . They congregate around two semantic notions, one of dying (standardly expressed by give up the ghost, buy the farm, bite the dust ) and one of committing to or getting up the gumption to do something (standardly expressed by bite the bullet, buy in (to the scheme), buy up (the opportunity), I’ll buy and probably others I’m not thinking of at the moment. The two concepts overlap in a number of cases: dying and buying into something are both decisive and (at least often viewed as) irrevocable changes, and they both in at least many cases involve a choice to surrender, to give in or give up what you had originally planned or expected.
Anyhow, since a bullet is made for causing death, it is easy to see either buying or biting it as accepting death (or something else nearly as inevitable and painful). Anesthetics have made what I think was the original background of bite the bullet (to help bear a battlefield amputation or other unanesthetized surgery) obsolete.
I think at least some of these cases can be classified as eggcorns.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2020-09-30 12:31:03)

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



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