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Stand one’s ground and hold one’s ground

  • Stand one’s ground and hold one’s ground are two versions of a popular idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom stand one’s ground or hold one’s ground, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

     

    Stand one’s ground and hold one’s ground are two idioms that mean to stay in one’s position and not yield to physical threats or mental pressure. Today, stand one’s ground and hold one’s ground usually mean to be unyielding in one’s resolve; however, the phrases may also be used to mean to maintain one’s physical presence in a particular place. The expressions stand one’s ground and hold one’s ground were first used in a military sense, to mean to hold on to one’s territory in battle. The terms came into use in a battle sense in the 1600s, and by the end of that century, they were well-known idioms used in a figurative sense. Stand one’s ground is and always has been the more popular of the two sayings. Related phrases are stands one’s ground, stood one’s ground, standing one’s ground, holds one’s ground, held one’s ground, holding one’s ground. In the United States, many states have stand-your-ground laws that allow citizens to use deadly force against another when they are in immediate danger of death or bodily harm.

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    Examples

    But no other state has scrapped its citizen’s arrest law since then, and a simultaneous push in Georgia to remove “stand-your-ground” — which allows people to fight an aggressor even if they can safely back away — fizzled, just like other campaigns that have played out around the country. (Seattle Times)

    Finance minister Enoch Godongwana has stood his ground in the  2021 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, charting a course to growth, employment and poverty reduction while maintaining financial stability. (Daily Maverick)

    Girardeau wrote: “Mountain lions do not predate on humans and this is why it’s good to hold your ground because any prey item for mountain lions runs away.” (USA Today)

    Emmitt tried once more to wheedle some money but I held my ground. (Winona Daily News)


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