to make a (big) stink

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - make a stink

"to make a (big) stink"

to be angry or upset about a situation, often by making a public protest or complaint


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - make a stink

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: The condition of the break room is absolutely deplorable. There is no ventilation. It looks like the cleaning staff never clean the place and I have seen rats in there.

Colleague 2: Have you made an official complaint to management?

Colleague 1: Several times over the last couple of months.

Colleague 2: Then perhaps it is time to make a stink.

Colleague 1: I am worried that if I cause public trouble that I will lose my job.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - make a stink

A couple are talking ...

Wife: Your daughter is making a big stink over her allowance.

Husband: What seems to be the problem?

Wife: She is complaining and refusing to do her chores. She claims that she is getting very busy with school and we are adding more and more chores to her duties. I am worried that she is going to become really upset if we don't increase her allowance.

Husband: What's the worst thing that could happen?

Wife: Knowing our daughter, she will make a sign and march back and forth in the front yard.

Test Your Understanding  

to make a (big) stink - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   144   click for frequency by country

to make a (big) stink - Gerund Form:

Making a stink over rezoning their residential neighborhood, the inhabitants arranged a protest at city hall.

to make a (big) stink - Examples:

1)  ... should be ashamed to put these systems on the market. Time to make a stink

2)  I may yet find some time to make a stink about Virgin's shoddy, perhaps illegal, greedy business practices, ...

3)  ... your charger is a fake, take it back to the seller and make a stink: and most importantly, stop using it immediately. You could damage your Pi ...

4)  ... most such perpetrators get away Scot-free. We need educated young people to make a stink and ensure the prosecution of the criminals. 

5)  This is not to say that you should make a stink for every declined application - ours was genuine (but I'm sure there are ...

6)  Sorry, but if we are going to make a stink (rightfully so) about the bozos who won't issue marriage licenses to same-sex ...

7)  Now I am threatened by a manager if I make a stink.

8)  He had delegates stolen and didn't make a stink about it? I'm starting to think the man was a sideshow. 

9)  ... the subsequent occupation and rebuilding of Afghanistan was $20 billion. Congressional Republicans make a stink about the excessive cost.

10)  He made a stink about a somewhat dubious practice, and I approve of his willingness to stand up ...

11)  After eight months of waiting in vain I got fed up and made a stink with the Council over why no places had arisen.

12)  All of those groups felt entitled to free roads, and made a stink every time something inconvenienced motorists. For example, the AAA successfully lobbied for ...

13)  And the right is also to blame for not making a stink about fraudulent elections.

14)  ... diaspora who are quietly trying to help the unfortunate without being confrontational and making a stink that will only lead to more repression.

15)  What is making a stink all around is the blatant falsehoods that are so brazenly created and spread about ...

16)  ... up the premier's salary because the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been making a big stink lately over chief's salaries being higher than the premier's.

17)  ... women can safely voice their concerns without being accused of "making a big stink".

18)  ... he couldn't even maneuver himself anywhere. His second wife made a huge stink about it and he was moved to another facility that was small, clean, ...

19)  Hence, as responsible Americans ourselves, we must continue to make a big stink about Benghazi Gate until we get all the truth and justice, so that those

20)  ... many stores have specifically informed staff not to do it unless the customer makes a stink.