meddle and make
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meddle and make (third-person singular simple present meddles and makes, present participle meddling and making, simple past and past participle meddled and made)
- (obsolete, chiefly in the negative) To intrude oneself into another person's concerns. [16th to 19th c.]
- 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii]:
- […] for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why the more is for your honesty.
- 1681, Robert Knox, An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, London: Richard Chiswell, Part III, Chapter 7, p. 91,
- For it is accounted a disgrace for the man to meddle or make with those affairs, that properly do belong unto the Woman.
- 1756, anonymous, Emily; or, The History of a Natural Daughter, London: F. Noble & J. Noble, Volume I, Book III, p. 205,
- Hold your foolish Tongue, Mr. Metal, said she, and get you to-bed; have’nt I plague enough with this audacious Slut, do you think, without your meddling and making?
- 1840, Ellen Pickering, The Quiet Husband, London: T.&.W. Boone, Volume I, Chapter 5, p. 162,
- She is the most unquiet person I know; cannot be still—meddles and makes about every thing and every body.
- 1880, William Dean Howells, The Undiscovered Country, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Chapter 27, p. 399,
- “Nay, I must not meddle or make in this business,” said the Shaker.
- “You did meddle and make in it once,” retorted Ford, unresentfully but inflexibly […]
The phrase meddle and make is generally restricted to positive, declarative contexts while meddle or make (and meddle nor make) are used in negative or non-declarative contexts. The difference is illustrated in the 1880 citation (Howells) above.