Keep your chin up

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Keep your chin up is an idiom that dates from Victorian times. We will examine the meaning of the idiom keep your chin up, when it appeared, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Keep your chin up is a reminder to stay positive, to stay cheerful in the face of adversity, to stay confident. The image is of one facing life squarely, with one’s head up and vision straight ahead. The idiom keep your chin up is an American expression which came about around the turn of the twentieth century and is similar in meaning to the British phrase keep a stiff upper lip. The idiom keep your chin up is often shortened to simply: chin up.


Keep moving, eat healthy and keep your chin up. (The Salisbury Post)

Of course, there are more mundane observations: the inability to wash, looking forward to a ‘good booze-up’ back in Britain, requests for chocolates, how French girls ‘wear hardly anything at all – just enough to cover up the so so’s’, and many calls to families back home to keep ‘your chin up’. (The Daily Mail)

God will make everything right and I will see you again … so let me implore you to keep your chin up. (The Chicago Daily Herald)