Posted by R. Berg on September 22, 2004
In Reply to: Make no mistake posted by ESC on September 21, 2004
: : I was wondering if anybody knew the origin and meaning of the phrase 'Make no mistake'
: I am not sure how to explain this phrase.
: Mistake (verb):
: 2 a : to misunderstand the meaning or intention of : MISINTERPRET Don't mistake me, I mean exactly what I said.
: "Make no mistake" means "don't misunderstand this" or "don't get this wrong." "Let's be clear on this." It is a way of telling the listener to pay attention and "listen up."
: Anyone else got an answer?
To me, it always sounds like a way of saying "If you don't believe what I say next, you're making a big mistake" - that is, "I know I'm right!" It's one of George W. Bush's favorite phrases, or his speechwriters', and it's become popular since he took office.
People used to say "There's no two ways about it" as a similar expression of confidence in an assertion.