Pluck Up Courage

Also: Screw Up Courage

Meaning of Idiom ‘Pluck Up (one’s) Courage’

To pluck up one’s courage means to force or will oneself to overcome fear or to be brave; to bolster one’s courage. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,3Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.

Examples Of Use

“It was a long way down to the water but Andrew plucked up his courage and leaped off the cliff.”

“It’s time for you to pluck up your courage and ask the boss for a raise. You deserve to be better compensated for the job you do here!”

“After we first met, it took me years to screw up the courage to ask your mom out on a date,” said Dad.

Origin

Used since at least the 1500s.

Pluck is used in this idiom in the sense of a forcible or determined effort. The variation screw is used in the sense of ‘to force or strain using a screw.’ 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

More Idioms Starting with P

More Courage Idioms

More Pluck Idioms

More Screw Idioms

More Up Idioms

Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2, 4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
3. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.