mend one's fences, to(redirected from mend your fences)
mend one's fences
Improve poor relations; placate personal, political, or business contacts. For example, The senator always goes home weekends and spends time mending his fences. This metaphoric expression dates from an 1879 speech by Senator John Sherman in Mansfield, Ohio, to which he said he had returned "to look after my fences." Although he may have meant literally to repair the fences around his farm there, media accounts of the speech took him to mean campaigning among his constituents. In succeeding decades the term was applied to nonpolitical affairs as well.
mend your fences
COMMON If you mend fences or mend your fences, you do something to improve your relationship with someone you have argued with. Yesterday he was publicly criticised for not doing enough to mend fences with his big political rival. He had managed to annoy every member of the family and thought he'd better mend his fences. Note: You can call this process fence-mending. The king is out of the country on a fence-mending mission to the European Community.
mend (your) fencesmake peace with a person.
This expression originated in the late 19th century in the USA, with reference to a member of Congress returning to his home town to keep in touch with the voters and to look after his interests there. Similar notions are conjured up by the saying good fences make good neighbours .
1994 Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli's Mandolin He knew assuredly he should go and mend his fences with the priest.
mend (your) ˈfences (with somebody)(British English) find a solution to a disagreement with somebody: Is it too late to mend fences with your brother?
To improve poor relations, especially in politics: "Whatever thoughts he may have entertained about mending some fences with [them] were banished" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
mend one's fences, to
To strengthen one’s position by reestablishing good relations among one’s supporters. The term apparently came from a speech by Sen. John Sherman to his neighbors and friends in 1879 in Mansfield, Ohio, in which he said, “I have come home to look after my fences,” presumably literally meaning the fences around his farm there. (Indeed, mending fences is a major and time-consuming chore for nearly all American farmers.) However, the newspaper reports of the speech interpreted it as a political statement that meant Sherman was really home to campaign among his constituents. The term continued to be used in this way, with repair and mend substituted for look after. In the twentieth century it was broadened to mean placating personal, business, or professional contacts who might have felt neglected or offended and trying to regain their support. Vice President Al Gore used it after his defeat in the 2000 presidential election, saying he planned to mend his fences.
See also: mend