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Bitter End (The)

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A outrance; with relentless hostility; also applied to affliction, as, “she bore it to the bitter end,” meaning to the last stroke of adverse fortune. “All Thy waves have gone over me, but I have borne up under them to the bitter end.” Here “bitter end” means the end of the rope. The “bitter-end” is a sea term meaning “that part of the cable which is “abaft the bitts.” When there is no windlass the cables are fastened to bitts, that is, pieces of timber so called; and when a rope is payed out to the bitter-end, or to these pieces of timber, all of it is let out, and no more remains. However, we read in Prov. v. 4, “Her end is bitter as wormwood,” which, after all, may be the origin of the phrase.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Bit
Bit (of a horse)
Bit
Bite
Bite
Bitelas
Bites and Bams
Biting Remark (A)
Bitt
Bitten
Bitter End (The)
Bitter as Gall
Bittock
Biz
Black
Black
Black as a Crow (or as a raven);
Black as a Newgate Knocker
Black in the Face
Black is White
Black Act

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