make one's bed and lie in it

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English[edit]

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Verb[edit]

make one's (own) bed (and lie in it)

  1. (idiomatic) To create a difficult situation whose unpleasant consequences one must now endure.
    • 1861, Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage, ch. 27:
      It was true that he had made his own bed, and he understood the justice which required him to lie upon it.
    • 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, chapter 33
      [...] one of the falsest of proverbs is that you must lie on the bed that you have made. The experience of life shows that people are constantly doing things which must lead to disaster, and yet by some chance manage to evade the result of their folly.
    • 1949, Upton Sinclair, O Shepherd, Speak! Part I (reprinted 2001), ISBN 9781931313100, p. 120:
      Harry said, "It's too bad, but of course we couldn't attempt to smuggle him. The old man has made his bed and he must lie in it."
    • 2005 Nov. 26, Bob Kropfli, "Letters: Second-Term Blues," Time:
      What has happened is that all the horrible moves he made during his first term . . . are perfectly evident to all. Bush made his bed during his first four years, and now he has to lie in it.
    • 2008 Aug. 21, Steven Erlanger, "Europe Grows Impatient as Delays Pile Up in Georgia," New York Times (retrieved 27 June 2011):
      “Saakashvili made his own bed,” said Nick Witney, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Affairs and the former chief executive of the European Defense Agency. “It was a pretty catastrophic miscalculation.”
    • 2010, Arlynn Leiber Presser, Blue-Jeaned Prince, ISBN 9780759298736, p. 149:
      He had made his own bed, chosen his own course in life, taking the path of easy money over hard work and initiative.

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