This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 14:34 BST, Friday, 26 October 2012

To fall on your sword

 Knights on horseback fight each other in a battle

Knights in armour fight each other on horseback. Photo: BBC

Today's Phrase

If you fall on your sword you take the blame for a group action that might not have been your individual responsibility.

For example:

He doesn't think he's to blame – but he's falling on his sword anyway.

She's going to resign - she's falling on her sword even though it's not her fault.

He is the boss – it's only right he's falling on his sword this time.


Don't confuse it with

Another phrase which means to take the blame for something is to take the flack.

She's always taking the flack for things. Even when it's not her fault.


Interesting fact

The honour of a Knighthood in the United Kingdom comes from the days of Medieval chivalry. The King or Queen touches the person who is going to be knighted on their shoulders with a sword.


Recent phrases

Previous phrases

  1. Home
  2. Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
  3. To fall on your sword