needs must

(but) needs must (necessity compels) — надо так надо; через не хочу (придется делать что-л.); ~ выбирать не приходится; ничего не поделаешь

USAGE: something that you say which means that you will do something only because it is necessary; to express something that is done unwillingly but with an acceptance that it can't be avoided. This expression means that you are sometimes forced by circumstances to do something that you do not want to do.((


Example 1: I'd rather stay with you than attend the conference, but needs must...! —... но, дорогая, ничего не поделаешь... Раз надо, значит надо.

Example 2: I really don't feel like cooking for all these people tonight but needs must. (СIDI) — Я совcем не имею никакого желания готовить на всю эту толпу народа сегодня, но придется готовить через не хочу (раз надо, так уж надо).

Example 3: I really don't want to go shopping right now, but needs must, I suppose.

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The phrase is old. In earlier texts it is almost always given in its fuller form — needs must when the devil drives. I. e. if the devil is driving you, you have no choice.

Shakespeare used the phrase several times. For example, in All's Well That Ends Well, 1602:

Countess: Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
Clown: My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.

The phrase became pared down to needs must during the 20th century and, even in that short form, it is rather archaic-sounding and is fading from popular use.