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Idiom

Make Ends Meet: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To have just enough money to buy all the things you need.
Origin
saved by the bellThere are a few possible origins for this idiom but most people believe that it is a translation of the French phrase ‘joindre les deux bouts de l’an’ which means to make both ends of the year meet. The English idiom was originally ‘make both ends meet’, both ends meaning the beginning and end of the year. Therefore, we started using it to mean that we have enough money to buy everything we need for the whole year. Now we use it to mean that we have enough money in general.
Examples
Many students have a difficult time trying to make ends meet.

“Since they had their baby, they’ve been finding it really hard to make ends meet so I lent them some money.”

Michael: “Sorry but I won’t be able to come to your party tonight. I got a job in a pub.”
Kevin: “What happened to your job in the café?”
Michael: “I’m still working there but they don’t pay very much so I had to get a second job to make ends meet.”