Maintaining a ‘stiff upper lip’ is a saying that has been used to describe British people for years. It is used to portray someone who has a great self-restraint to show little or no emotion and is similar to keeping a straight face! The phrase dates back to the 1800’s, and came from a persons top lip starting to tremble when they get emotional – hence where the stiff upper lip phrase came from (although it is quite hard to do!)
After WW2 and also the death of Diana, hundreds of people mourned in the street, this is when many people have said came the end of the stiff upper lip. These days it is common to see people expressing emotion in public, from footballers crying on the pitch to a couple kissing in the street, it is becoming more and more common.
So whether you are not fazed by crying in public or would rather keep your cards close to your chest, the stiff upper lip is a distinctly British characteristic.
Image Credit: just.my.photography2008