make a man of

make a man of someone

Fig. to make a young male into an adult male. The experience will make a man of Ted. Send Wally into the army. That'll make a man of him.
See also: make, man, of

make a man (out) of somebody

to make a young man without much experience develop into a confident and experienced adult The army will make a man out of you.
See also: make, man, of
References in classic literature ?
Especially, you cannot make a man of business out of a genius, any more than money out of a Jew, or the best nutmegs out of pine-knots.