Is it appropriate to use this phrase: 'make up your mind'?

is it appropriate to say “make up your mind” ? or is it a snide remark ?

Can it be used in a serious conversation among friends ?

I don’t think it always has to be interpreted in a negative manner. It really depends on the tone of your voice, and the context. Certainly if you are going back and forth with someone and then say “make up your mind!” in a frustrated tone it could be interpreted as a little harsh.


Could you please explain what ‘going back and forth with someone’ means? I have a vague feeling that it means arguing, but I’m not sure. Also, is it an idiom?

Thanks in advance.

Hi Conchita,

I’ll have a stab at interpreting this expression in that particular context but I would ask you to exercise caution in viewing my explanation because it smacks very much of what I would term an Americanism and I know that this is a somewhat touchy area on the forum at the moment.

To me go back and forth means go and come back in the sense of fetching and carrying. If you have a pile of rocks you want to transfer from the front to the back garden and they are too heavy to carry in one go, you go back and forth with the wheelbarrow until the task is completed. But in the piece by Comenius (now why didn’t I choose a monniker like that?) the expression is used to suggest an altercation with someone about something - even an up and downer because you have gone over the same ground again and again and you want the other person to make their mind up.

Hope this sheds some light.

Alan or as I might call myself in mid June Superannuated Septuagenarian Now how’s that for a classy nom de plume!

Hi Alan, so have a stab is an idiom that means have a go/have a try?


And what is a monniker? Is it another word for nickname?

Hi FrankU,

Yes you’re right on both counts. Have a stab at means try to do something and often suggests that you think you will not succeed. Monniker is another word for name and is often used in a conversational/slang way.


Thank you, Alan.

After viewing all the many synonyms of the word ‘superannuated’ (I’m positive that some of them can have side effects if used as nicks!), I would suggest – or rather most earnestly beg – you don’t change your name! :slight_smile: