make a pig's ear of (something)

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make a pig's ear of (something)

To do a very poor job of something; to screw something up completely. I'm going to need to start this table over again from scratch—I really made a pig's ear of it. Janet made a pig's ear of the Jefferson account, so I'm going to need you to come in at the weekend and put things in order.
See also: ear, make, of

make a pig's ear of something

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone makes a pig's ear of something that they are doing, they do it very badly. I made a pig's ear of it last time and I'm going to make sure that won't happen again. Other countries have also made a pig's ear of their radioactive waste policy. Note: People sometimes vary this expression, for example by saying that something is a pig's ear. The current state of British sports politics is an absolute pig's ear. Note: This expression may refer to the fact that most parts of a pig can be eaten, but the ears are the least useful part.
See also: ear, make, of, something
References in periodicals archive ?
He would have been better employed reaching for the Chambers dictionary, which confirms that 'to make a pig's ear of (something)' means 'to make a mess of something' or 'to do something badly or clumsily'.