mare's nest

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See also: mare's-nest


1899 Welsh cartoon using the phrase mare's nest.


From mare's + nest. Compare horse-nest.



mare's nest (plural mare's nests)

  1. A great discovery which turns out to be illusory; a hoax.
    • c. 1620, John Fletcher, Bonduca, V.2:
      Why dost thou laugh? What Mares nest hast thou found?
  2. A confused or complicated situation; a muddle.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 277:
      Though Chancellor Maupeou had supported the idea of a trial [...], the legal proceedings developed into a mare's nest of accusations and counter-accusations.

Further reading[edit]

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg mare's nest on Wikipedia.Wikipedia