Lay open to ridicule, as in They made a laughingstock of the chairman by inviting him to the wrong meeting-place, or She felt she was making a laughingstock of herself, always wearing the wrong clothes for the occasion. The noun laughingstock replaced the earlier mockingstock and sportingstock, now obsolete. The idiom was first recorded in 1667.
- Make a living
Earn enough to support oneself, as in Can he make a living as a freelance trumpeter? This term was first recorded in 1632.
- Make a long story short
Get to the point, as in To make a long story short, they got married and moved to Omaha. Although the idea of abbreviating a long-winded account is ancient, this precise phrase dates only from the 1800s. Henry David Thoreau played on it in a letter of 1857: “Not that the story need be long, […]
- Make a mess
verb phrase To defecate; crap, shit: I’m afraid the kid has made a mess in his pants (1903+)
- Make a mess of something
verb phrase To make a jumble of; mangle; botch; MAKE A HASH OF something: He gave it his best shot, but made a mess of it (1862+)