Make over - phrasal verb

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gofigure, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. gofigure New Member

    Makeover - phrasal verb?
    I found this in reference among phrasal verbs under the letter M (I am not allowed to post links):
    „Phrasal Verb: Make over
    Meaning: Change appearance
    Example: The beauty salon gave her a MAKEOVER before the party.”

    My question is: how can it be a phrasal VERB (in the example) when it is a NOUN?

  2. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    Hello gofigure, and Welcome to the Forum! :)

    It isn't. You're right, and they're wrong. You should make them over before they mislead anyone else. :)
  3. gofigure New Member

    Thanks, Beryl!
    And yes, I would like to but HOW? Unfortunately, I couldn't find any feedback address there that's why I signed up for this forum. :D
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    Well you're in the right place now, and we'll send the boys round later to have a word with them.
    Here are a few examples that confirm that it is at least occasionally used as a phrasal verb. :rolleyes:
    Treasure them, because they were strangely hard to find. (I found only three).

    "make them over"

    "make her over"
  5. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    Dionne Warwick's hit song "Don't make me over" has the following lines: "Don't make me over....just love me with all my faults, the way that I love you." I think it's in the sense of "don't try to change me" rather than in the sense of "don't do me over", but with song lyrics you never know.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  6. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    > rather than in the sense of "don't do me over"

    Is that 'do me over' as in to assault, or to inflict physical harm?
  7. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, British slang. I'd known the words of the song without really thinking about what they mean. This use of "to make someone over" was strange enough to me that I had a hazy idea of it being akin to "do someone over". Thank you gofigure for putting the question about the phrasal verb "to make someone over".
  8. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    So just to be clear, are you saying that 'to make someone over' can mean to 'beat someone up'? (I'm new to this, you can tell.)
  9. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    Oh no, I'm so sorry that I muddied the waters. As far as I can see from the few examples that were found, "to make someone over" means to change them (in Dionne Warwick's sense of trying to change someone's character) or give them a makeover (change their "look" or appearance.)
  10. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    If "to start over" is an Americanism meaning restart, then I suppose "to make over" means to remake.

    However, I've rarely seen this as a verb, far more frequently as a one-word noun, e.g:

    "Before I go to the Mardi Gras party, I'm calling in at the beautician's for a makeover - the complete works - waxing, eyelash tinting, makeup and hairdo."
  11. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I could not reproduce any of the relevant sentences from these links. In fact I can't think of a single context in which I could say, "to make someone over".
  12. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    Thank you sound shift. It was remiss of me not to have presented it directly. Now we have some 'evidence' for keeps.

    From "Christina Ricci Designs Makeup Bag for Make Up For Ever" by Merle Ginsberg (2013): "The Make Up For Ever team of experts will "make them over" and give them lessons on how to use their tried-and-true products in new beauty-enhancing ways, plus offer suggestions for new items that might supplement what they already have." (

    From"What’s Up with Kim Kardashian Wearing Black and White 90% of the Time?" By SunnyChanel (2013): "A while back, Kim Kardashian went through a fashion transformation. The pregnant star let her man Kanye West make her over (with an infamous closet cleansing scene on the Kardashian’s reality show. Kim has let her baby daddy dress her. “I asked him to introduce me to new stylists and designers [including Givenchy and Lanvin] to help me get the more sophisticated vibe I was going for,” she said to Life & Style. " (

    From "Norma Kamali Admits that Fashion Objectifies Women–But She Wants To Put an End To All That" by Tyler McCall (2013): "It’s absolutely true. If you look at models, they’re probably the most objectified women in any career, even more than film actresses. If a model goes on a go see, we just want to make sure she fits what we’re looking for. We don’t care about what she has to say. And then when we hire her, we make her over anyway, so she doesn’t even look like what she looked like." (
  13. gofigure New Member

    Thank you for all your answers but the question actually was not about whether there is a phrasal verb "make sb. over". The question was how is it possible that in under phrasal VERBS here: (Click) the example gives a NOUN: "The beauty salon gave her a MAKEOVER before the party."
    I mean I believe there is a phrasal verb "to make over" but then give an example with a phrasal verb, not a noun (referring to!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2013
  14. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    Thanks for the link. I thought that, seeing as they were claiming that it can be used as a phrasal verb, though bolstering that claim with an erroneous example, it might be a good idea to provide a few examples over here.
    As we've seen from some of the above, the usage is not universally approved of.

    >The question was how is it possible that in under phrasal VERBS ... the example gives a NOUN?

    I'm afraid that this enquiry is beyond the scope of this forum, short of saying that I think that they are in error.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

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