take the bull by the horns
take the bull by the horns,
also, grab the bull by the horns
- decisively deal with a difficult or dangerous situation
- to deal with a problematic situation confidently
- to handle a risky situation very bravely
- deal decisively with a difficult problem
- Jone decided to take the bull by the horns and organise things for himself.
- The British government will have to take the bull by the horns and tackle inflation.
- The administration decided to take the bull by the horns and solved the problem without any further delay.
- Just take the bull by the horns and strictly ask him to stop abusing.
- The captain took the bull by the horns to give his side a fighting chance of rescuing a point.
- Alex took the bull by the horns, sending the message that political resilience in the party has taken a back seat to power and positions.
- The opposition took the bull by the horns and, after lengthy discussions, decided to participate.
- The administration has grabbed the bull by the horns and carried out unprecedented top to bottom reforms.
- If you want to win, then go ahead and grab the bull by the horns.
- Leadership starts with a person’s capability to look in the mirror and grab the bull by the horns.
The saying undoubtedly originated in America, where it was a common but risky job to struggle with bulls. Controlling a bull was a part of rancher’s everyday working life throughout west America and often done for entertainment on festivals. To control a bull or a steer (a young bull), the cowhand would first catch it. Trying to grab the leg or neck of a dangerous animal like this was not a choice. The only solution was to take a deep breath and face the music straight by clutching the bull by the horns and then pulling it to the ground. This expression now means to challenge a problem directly without “beating about the bush.”
The earliest printed records of the phrase began to appear from the early 1700s.