What does the idiom "make a fool of oneself" mean?

make a fool of oneself is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression make a fool of oneself is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "make a fool of oneself"


The phrase ‘make a fool of oneself’ typically refers to embarrassing oneself in a way that causes others to laugh at or mock the individual. It is usually used to describe an act that was unwise or foolish, or could even be considered an inappropriate social faux pas. It can also be used to describe making a public spectacle out of oneself, either intentionally or unintentionally.


The phrase ‘make a fool of oneself’ first appeared in print in the 16th Century, in William Shakespeare’s play ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’. In the play, it is used to describe an act of foolishness or embarrassment caused by someone who was trying to be clever or witty, but instead made a blunder. The phrase has been in use ever since, and is still used in modern English.


The phrase ‘make a fool of oneself’ is typically used to describe an embarrassing act, usually in a humorous or light-hearted way. It can also be used to describe a situation when someone is trying to make themselves look better than they actually are, or trying to impress others, but ends up making a fool of themselves in the process. In some cases, it can also be used as a warning to someone who might otherwise be putting themselves in a potentially embarrassing situation.

Example Sentences

  • I can't believe I made such a fool of myself at the party last night. Everyone was laughing at me!
  • You shouldn't try to show off; you'll just end up making a fool of yourself.
  • Don't be so reckless; you don't want to make a fool of yourself.

The meanings of the words in the "make a fool of oneself" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.


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