There was the following passage in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times (August 22) under the title, “Donald Trump struts in his own pageant” starts with the following lines;

“It’s mind-boggling to contemplate a President Trump trying to make peace between North and South Korea, even as we watch the pugnacious Candidate Trump trolling poor Jeb on Twitter and predicting that poor Hillary would have to run the country from Leavenworth. But, as Trump would say, deal with it.”

I know what 'deal with' means. Every dictionary covers that usage of the verb, 'deal'. I'm not asking mundane "off-topic" usage of "deal with." American (British) babies would hear it everyday, every time he / she cries. We Japanese learn it at pre-school child English conversation schools, or at the latest in the English language class of the first grade of junior high.

But I suspect Dowd added special implications—because of Dowd's (and Trump's) idiosyncrasy—to “Deal with it” as she always does in her writings by specifying "as Trump would say." Isn’t there any difference of implication, tonality and impact of Mr. Trump’s ‘Deal with it” to American voters from your wife’s telling “deal with it” to your kid at the dentist's waiting room?

Maybe I'm over-thinking, but would you translate "Deal with it" used here in this specific ontext, if I'm not?

P.S. In this regard, I'm very much appreciative of Michael Timofeev's answer, Sven Yargs'comment, and in particular Little Eva's "Trump's deal" input, which I don't think 'Commonly - and easily - available references from miscellaneous English dictionaries in the market and ELL sites.

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    Trump: The Art of the Deal
    – user98990
    Aug 23, 2015 at 1:37
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    It's straightforwardly definition 4 here Aug 23, 2015 at 2:19
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    Basically it means "I don't give a rat's ass about your opinion."
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 23, 2015 at 2:21
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    Yoichi, I looked up the "definition" in Urban Dictionary. I wouldn't consider it a real definition. Half of users voted down the definition, and it comes from a person whose name is gsbgsfbsfdgsfghsg. Aug 23, 2015 at 3:01
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    I think of "Deal with it" used in this sense as being very similar to the idiomatic expression "Get used to it," which meant something like "The situation isn't going to change just because you may object to it, so you had better adjust your expectations to accommodate this new reality." "Deal with it" is slightly more bellicose, it seems to me, since it might be interpreted as an unfriendly invitation to "Do something about it, if you dare." But all of these expressions have in common the idea that the next step is up to the hearer (or reader)—the speaker/writer isn't budging.
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:12

3 Answers 3


When we deal with problems, we confront and attempt to solve them. Usually, we have to deal with things that are unpleasant. "Deal with it," is similar to "bite the bullet," "grin and bear it," or "face the music." In most situations, you can replace "Deal with it," with "Too bad you don't like like. Face it any way."

Here are some situations that should help give you some perspective on this:

A soldier complains to his superior about it being cold outside. "You don't like the cold, private? Too bad, you're a soldier--deal with it!"

A little boy complains to his mother about going to the doctor to get a shot. The mother says, "I don't care if you don't like needles. I don't want you getting sick, so deal with it!"

An employee says they don't want to open the store at 6am because they will be tired. The boss could reply: "You'll be tired? Oh, sorry to hear that, but your job requires it, so deal with it, or find a new place to complain."

If Donald Trump were to say that, he would mean "Too bad you don't like things but that's the way it is, so get over your feelings and confront the situation." The expression makes sense for Donald Trump because he's a deal-with-it kind of guy. There is a sense of harshness and matter-of-factness.

I wouldn't say it's an everyday phrase. It's certainly more common now (it would be interesting to trace it's roots.) It is widely known and accepted.

EDIT: I want to also add "Get over it," as another way to understand the expression. To "get over something," means to accept a situation and move on to the next issue. In my above examples, "deal with it" can be replaced with "get over it." without changing the meaning very much (if at all.)

  • Have you any supporting references? Oct 22, 2019 at 14:41

When someone tells you to deal with it, they are communicating to you with negative empathy. It is a rude, aggressive way of saying, "My ears are closed to any objections, any emotions, any rational discussions you might bring. I call the shots here, I make the rules, I have all the power. I have made a decision that I know will bother you, but you are so powerless that on top of that, I will insult you by withholding all humanness and empathy."

By the way, a mother doesn't say, "Deal with it," to a child upset about getting a shot. She doesn't say that to the child until he's been a teenager for awhile, and she's run out of empathy.

  • +1. But it could also be the parent showing the (now older) offspring so-called "tough love" , not a lack of empathy.
    – TimR
    Nov 24, 2015 at 12:58

Basically "Deal with it" means "think what you want, your opinion won't change my behavior, so you'll have to accept this." The phrase is presented in response to diaproval. "Deal with it" is a slightly rude everyday phrase and is usually used to make the speaker sound cool. Know Your Meme explains the phrase as the following:

“Deal With It” is an expression used as a retort in response to someone’s disapproval. It is often associated with image macros and animated GIFs in which the subject wears a pair of sunglasses.

Examples of uses of the phrase would be:

I just bought five boxes of French fries. Deal with it


I don't care about your problems. Deal with it.

  • I don't get idea yet. Does it mean, "Then, do as you like, I don't care of you any more"? Aug 23, 2015 at 1:55
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    @Yoichi yes, it means exactly that. I'll add that to my answer to help clarify.
    – Sydney
    Aug 23, 2015 at 1:57
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    I disagree. It doesn't mean "I don't care about your opinion", it's more about I don't want to deal with it because I can't or that's the way it is.
    – user116032
    Aug 23, 2015 at 3:02
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    Actually, it means it's your job to deal with the problems this creates for you, not mine. So deal with it. Aug 23, 2015 at 3:05
  • @CandiedOrange I see your point. I'll edit my answer.
    – Sydney
    Aug 23, 2015 at 3:07

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