A die-hard is a person or attitude that resists stubbornly to the last, from the literal sense of resisting until death. Thus, people had been dying hard for centuries. A fine example of this was the battle of Albuera in 1811 during the Peninsular War, where the 57th Regiment of Foot (later the 1st Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment) acquired the nickname The Die-Hards. Colonel William Inglis, the regimental commander, although severely wounded and his regiment out-numbered, ordered his men, “Die hard, 57th, die hard!” The 57th held and the French retreated from the field but not before the 57th had suffered 422 killed or wounded out of 570 other ranks, and 20 out of 30 officers. According to the OED, the figurative use of the expression was cited from 1844.