What does ‘put your foot in it’ mean?

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘put your foot in it’?   What do you think it means? 

Do you think it has a positive or negative meaning?

‘Put your foot in it’ is a popular English idiom.  It means to make a mistake and say something that upsets or embarrasses somebody.  It is often used in informal situations.  In US English, it usually becomes ‘put your foot in your mouth.’  Here are some examples:

Jason really put his foot in it when he told Sally about the party. She hadn’t been invited.

I totally put my foot in it when I asked him about his job. I didn’t know he’d just been fired.

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Do you know any other phrases that mean to make a mistake?  The phrases ‘mess up’ and ‘screw up’ (US) are also popular idioms meaning to make a mistake.  They are usually used more to talk about mistakes with things that you do.  Here are some examples:

I think I messed up test. I didn’t know any of the answers.

Jane screwed up her online order and was sent the wrong book.

Another idiom that means to make a mistake is ‘drop the ball.’  It can mean to make a mistake when doing something, but it can also mean to fail or forget to do something.  ‘Drop the ball’ is also often used when talking about something you are responsible for.  Here’s an example: 

Jack really dropped the ball when he lost the documents. Now everyone in the office has to give him all their reports again.

Do you have any idioms in your language that mean to make a mistake?


Related links:

What does ‘catch up for a coffee’ mean?

Idiom and phrase list gallery