Strong Stomach (have a)

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Meaning of Idiom 'To have a strong stomach'

To have a strong stomach means that you can handle disgusting or disturbing things without being made sick or extremely upset. This can refer to smelling, seeing, and also tasting unpleasant things, but can also refer to more any experience which is risky, dangerous, etc. The idiom does not necessarily mean to be completely unaffected or oblivious, but to have a high tolerance.

Usage

"The homicide detective had experienced many murder scenes and had a strong stomach, but this particular case was tough to handle."

"You need a strong stomach to eat this egg. It has an actual chick in it!"

"Todd didn't last long as a plumber. He didn't have a strong enough stomach to handle the smell."

"You need a strong stomach to jump out of a plane, parachute or not."

Origin

It is hard to say when 'strong stomach' first came to be used as an idiom, but it has been used this way as early as the mid-1800's. A strong stomach, before this, referred to good and healthy digestion. While it is true that people used to believe that courage resided in the stomach, it is not clear that this particular idiom relates to that belief. See the related idiom, have no stomach for something.

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