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    #1

    swallow back the bile

    Hi there,

    What does the underlined part in the following sentence mean? Thanks for your kind help.

    "I decided to swallow back the bile rising in my throat and go ahead and listen to the audio."

    Does it mean swallow back the anger? or nausea (figuratively?)

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    #2

    Re: swallow back the bile

    It could be anger or disgust for me.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: swallow back the bile

    It doesn't even have to be figurative. The word 'bile' is related to 'bilious'.

    b

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: swallow back the bile

    Even though technically it's stomach acid we feel rising up in our throats when we're upset or angry, that burning feeling and sour taste is often described as "bile." (There is such a thing as "bile reflux", but it is bile from the intestine that backs up into the stomach; it doesn't rise as high as the esophagus.)

    Anyway, the implication in your quote is that something was so repulsive, disgusting and upsetting to the person speaking that his stomach knotted up and forced digestive acids up the esophagus to the back of his throat so that he could actually taste it. But he decided to swallow hard, which sent the acid back down to the stomach, and proceeded to listen to the audio track that so disturbed him. Sometimes people use the term "swallow back the bile" figuratively, but often it is literal - they do get so upset that they have to actually swallow hard (or take an antacid tablet) to get over it and carry on.

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