Deal With It: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
January 1, 2024

The expression "deal with it" means to handle or manage a situation, problem, or responsibility. Often, it implies addressing something challenging or unpleasant. This phrase can be used to encourage someone to face a situation head-on or to acknowledge that a situation, while not ideal, must be managed regardless.

In short:

  • It means to handle or manage a situation or problem.
  • It is often used in the context of challenging or unpleasant situations.

What Does "Deal With It" Mean?

The phrase "deal with it" is a straightforward way of saying one needs to manage or handle a situation or problem that is typically challenging or less than ideal. For example, if someone is complaining about a difficult task at work, a colleague might say, "You just have to deal with it." This means that the person should address the task despite its difficulties. It's a way of acknowledging that while the situation isn't easy, it still requires attention and action.

More about the phrase's meaning:

  • It often suggests facing a challenge directly and handling it.
  • The phrase can also imply accepting a situation as it is and adapting to it.
  • It is used to express the idea of taking responsibility for something.
  • "Deal with it" can be seen in personal and professional contexts.
  • Similar phrases include "handle it," "manage it," and "cope with it."

Where Does "Deal With It" Come From?

The verb phrase “deal with,” which means to handle or cope with something, has been used since the 15th century. However, the modern catchphrase “deal with it” was popularized in the early 2000s. Internet cartoonist Matt Furie, who created Pepe the Frog, included “deal with it” as the punch line of a webcomic posted in 2005, marking one of the earliest introductions of the phrase into meme culture. The phrase then spread as a popular GIF posted in online forums and discussions

10 Examples of "Deal With It" in Sentences

To help you understand when to use this phrase, let's look at some examples from different situations:

  • When his car broke down, he sighed and said, "I guess I just have to deal with it."
  • After receiving critical feedback, she told herself to deal with it and learn from the experience.
  • The ship was sinking fast; they had to deal with it and abandon ship.
  • When faced with unexpected rain on their picnic, they decided to deal with it and had fun anyway.
  • He couldn’t bond out of jail, so he had to deal with it and stay there until his trial.
  • After losing the game, the coach said, "Let's deal with it positively and focus on the next match."
  • She wanted to pick up where she left off with him, but he had moved on. There's nothing to do but deal with it.
  • They were stuck in traffic, and he said, "We can't do anything but deal with it."
  • The haunted house attraction was not for the faint of heart. But the group had to deal with it and face their fears.
  • Philip had a road-to-Damascus experience when he realized he was wrong. He had to deal with it and change his ways.

Examples of "Deal With It" in Pop Culture

This phrase is quite common in movies, TV shows, and songs, often used in moments of challenge or frustration.

Let's look at some examples:

  • Lev Grossman, in his book "The Magicians" (The Magicians, #1), writes: "Language and reality are kept strictly apart — reality is tough, unyielding stuff, and it doesn't care what you think or feel or say about it. Or it shouldn't. You deal with it, and you get on with your life.”
  • In the TV show "Hot Fuzz" (2007), the character Nicholas Angel, played by Simon Pegg, says: "You're a doctor, deal with it!"
  • An article titled "Horrible News and How to Deal with It" in the GetAbstract Journal discusses how to cope with the constant stream of bad news in recent years.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Deal With It"

Here are some alternative phrases that express the same idea:

  • Handle it
  • Manage it
  • Cope with it
  • Face it
  • Work through it
  • Get over it
  • Grin and bear it
  • Confront it
  • Accept it
  • Overcome it

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Deal With It":

  • What does "deal with it" mean?

"Deal with it" means to handle or manage a situation or problem, typically one that is challenging or less than ideal.

  • Can "deal with it" be used in a professional context?

Yes, it can be used in professional contexts to encourage someone to face or manage work-related challenges.

  • Is "deal with it" always negative?

No, it's not always negative. It can also be used in a neutral sense, simply implying that a situation needs to be managed or addressed.

  • How can I respond to someone who says "deal with it"?

You can respond by acknowledging the challenge and expressing your intent to address or manage the situation effectively.

  • Is there a polite way to say "deal with it"?

Yes, you can phrase it more politely by saying something like, "I understand it's tough, but we need to find a way to manage this situation."

  • Can "deal with it" be used as a form of encouragement?

Yes, it can be used to encourage someone to face a challenge bravely and confidently.

  • Does "deal with it" imply taking responsibility?

It often implies taking responsibility to manage or handle a situation, especially in challenging circumstances.

  • Is "deal with it" appropriate in all situations?

It may not be appropriate in sensitive situations where empathy and understanding are required, as it can come across as dismissive or insensitive.

  • Can "deal with it" be used in personal relationships?

While it can be used, care should be taken as it might sound harsh or uncaring in personal relationships.

  • Are there other phrases similar to "deal with it"?

Yes, similar phrases include "handle it," "cope with it," and "manage it."

Final Thoughts About "Deal With It"

The phrase "deal with it" is a common expression used to indicate handling or managing situations, especially challenging ones. Its appropriateness and tone can vary based on the context and the relationship between the people involved.

To recap:

  • It's a versatile phrase used in various contexts to imply managing or handling a situation.
  • The phrase can be modified to be more polite or encouraging, depending on the situation.
  • While useful, it should be used with consideration to avoid sounding insensitive, especially in personal or sensitive contexts.
  • It often involves taking responsibility and facing challenges directly.

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