After years of being told that hydrangea can't grow here because it's too hot, I saw them in stores all the time. I bit the bullet (whatever that expression means- we usually try to find out the meaning behind expressions because some of them have funny origins and people use them a lot) and bought one last year and put it in the shadiest spot in my yard. It didn't really do much last year and was a little leafy 2 weeks ago, but I came back to this!! I was really disappointed I had bought white and not blue, so I bought another one this spring, so I am hoping it does the same next year.
You could probably guess this one, especially you nursey types, but bite the bullet comes from this origin: "Before the advent of ether, the first anesthetic, surgery was a pretty desperate and painful affair. With the patient (although victim might be more descriptive) fully conscious and feeling the pain. These early surgeries were typically limb amputations or the removal of some object lodged into the body such as a bullet or arrowhead.
A typical amputation consisted of the "surgeon" using a saw to hack off the unwanted limb. The skin was then pulled down over the stub and sutured shut. Amazingly, some of these patients survived, but certainly the success ratio was low. Note that poorly skilled physicians today are called "hacks".
Even after the advent of anesthetics such emergency surgery has had to be performed at times. Particularly in times of war when anesthetics may be in limited supply or unavailable.
To ease the pain the patient was given a couple of stiff belts of whiskey to numb the senses, then given a stick or lead bullet to bite down on as the surgeon went to work with knife and saw.
The bullet or stick was given to let the patient focus their energy and attention on the biting instead of the cutting and pain. It may also have helped to reduce the screaming, which probably benefited the surgeon and attendants."