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Grin and Bear or Bare It

Well, which grizzly word is it? If you are sitting around spinning the content strings into something shiny and attractive for your audience, start with knowing an idiom like this one. We’ve all heard it or said it ourselves, but when it comes to correctly spelling the phrase, it’s “grin and bear it” that pays.

Get With It, Grimace

When you have to do something you don’t particularly want to do, you grin and bear it. Those times you have to accept some information that you don’t like, you grin and bear it. If you have to put on a brave face in a stormy situation, you grin and bear it.

  • Easy equation for this idiom: if you have to, you grin and bear it.

It’s easy to do things you want to do—those have to’s are the ones that make you….yes, you guessed it. Grin and bear it. Now you have a sticky way to help you remember when you should be grinning and bearing it, Grimace.

Backstory of Grin and Bear It

The phrase that pays here today, grin and bear it, comes from the word grinnian—Old English for “show one’s teeth in pain or anger.” To bear in this instance is defined as to endure. So you endure something even if it hurts or makes you want to rage.

According to Writing Explained, the phrase ‘grin and bear it’ was first used in published text in 1775 with the author W. Hickey’s “Memoirs.” Not to be confused with the much later born William Hickey of American actor fame. Wrong W. Hickey, folks.

One more of the earliest instances of this phrase is from an interestingly important book, “Zoonomia.” This medical work was written by poet and philosopher, Erasmus Darwin, and published in 1794. Darwin was the grandfather of Charles, Darwin, and also the original mind behind the still-popular phrase, survival of the fittest.

In “Zoonomia; or the Laws of Organic Life,” a medical work that discusses everything from anatomy to psychology, he talks about how survival of the species is related to evolution. For our intents and purposes, we also have the first use of ‘grin and bear it:’

  • “We have a proverb where no help could be had in pain, ‘to grin and abide.’”

The phrase is not verbatim but the meaning is the same.

Less Grinning and Bearing It With Content Writing

If you are ready to stop grinning and bearing it with poor quality content writing opportunities, you are in the write—right place. Here at WriterAccess, you can get all kinds of goodies for free, like “Writer Tools for Success: What to Do During a Writing Lull,” so that you never have to grin and bear it with your writing career…or at least you can minimize the grimace a bit.


“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!

Guest Author

By WriterAccess

Freelancer Miranda B

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