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Posted by James Briggs on November 25, 2000

In Reply to: Phrase posted by mike on November 24, 2000

: What is the origin (and meaning) of "to make ends meet"?

To make (both) ends meet is to live within one's means, but what are the ends in this instance? Most probably the term comes from accountancy where "meet" used to be an adjective meaning "equal" or "balanced". The end was the end of the financial year in which both profit and loss accounts had to be balanced: the ends had to be met