make a hash of (something)

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make a hash of (something)

To ruin, bungle, or spoil something. I really made a hash of that project at work—I'm going to get fired for sure! I'm afraid the accounting department made a complete hash of these numbers. We'll need to re-tally the entire ledger.
See also: hash, make, of

make a hash of

Also, make a mess of. Ruin or spoil something, as in They've made a hash of their financial affairs, or She thought he'd make a mess of the garden. The first term, first recorded in 1833, uses hash in the sense of "a jumble of mangled fragments"; the variant, using mess in the sense of "a muddle" or "a state of confusion," was first recorded in 1862.
See also: hash, make, of

make a hash of something

INFORMAL
If you make a hash of a job or task, you do it very badly. The Government made a total hash of things and wasted a small fortune. She fumbled with the trolley and made a hash of stacking the food trays.
See also: hash, make, of, something

make a hash of

make a mess of; bungle. informal
Hash comes from the French verb hacher meaning ‘chop up small’. A hash is a dish of cooked meat cut into small pieces and recooked with gravy; from this comes the derogatory sense of hash meaning ‘a jumble of incongruous elements; a mess’.
See also: hash, make, of