make it v.
1. in senses of existence, achievement.
(a) to be successful; thus make it big, make it good.
|Bell’s Penny Dispatch 20 Mar. 3/3: There was one girl [...] who, although a child, had been making it all right, (so it seemed to me) with one of the young swells.|
|in Variety 24 Mar. 8: The hams that can’t make it anywhere think it’s a walkover in vaudeville [HDAS].|
|‘The Bullin Mr. Stavin’ Chain’ in Rainbow in Morning (1965) 179: Well, you kain’t make it down / Like the bullin’ Mr. Stavin’ Chain.|
|Thieves Like Us (1999) 179: You can make it as easy as falling off a log.|
|Really the Blues [dedication] To the sweet-talkers, the gumbeaters, the high-jivers, out of the gallion for good and never going to take low again. (You got to make it, daddy.).|
|Look Back in Anger Act I: Don’t you worry, he’ll make it. And, what’s more, he’ll do it better than anybody else!|
|All Night Stand 96: Thinking you’ll make it if you hang around here, because once it was an exciting place.|
|Inner City Hoodlum 74: They young blacks were beginning [...] to know that they were going to make it. [Ibid.] 197: Sam had always wanted to make it big.|
|Life and Times of Little Richard 114: Everybody was telling us that we were going to make it big.|
|Yardie 24: Whapp’n, you don’t wan’ me fe make it ina England?|
|Them (2008) 6: He looked a bit like Otis Redding before he’d made it big.|
(b) to subsist, to survive, often as phr. just barely making it, also used in greeting, as in How you making it?
|All Year Round Extra Christmas No. 12 Dec. 22/1: They were artisans and farm-labourers who couldn’t make it out in the old country.Tom Tiddler’s Ground IV in|
|Western Avernus (1924) 186: Hallo, boys, how are you making it?|
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 58: How’re you making it this morning, chum?|
|Complete Short Stories (1993) II 1288: How’s Dave been makin’ it lately? Strikin’ it as rich as ever, I suppose?‘Flush of Gold’|
|Dark Hazard (1934) 279: Wel, old boy, how you making it?|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 84: We’ll make it; we’ve always made it.‘Looking Down the Street’ in|
|Junkie (1966) 43: Louie had a hard time making it.|
|Mama Black Widow 224: He had made it on his own.|
|Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 27: How could a schoolteacher explain that her own son was having trouble making it in school?|
|Tourist Season (1987) 326: Hey, don’t look so blue. We made it.|
|Candy 229: It was all we could do to make it through one day.|
(c) to achieve (something).
|Memoirs of the Secret Service vi: Make it, to appropriate, to gain a desired point.|
|Silas Lapham 108: He jumped on board the steam-boat. [...] ‘Just made it,’ he said.|
|Friar Tuck 255: Badger-face tried to raise himself on his elbow, but he could n’t quite make it.|
|One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding 41: We jes gotta make it this time.|
(d) to manage, usu. in context of movement.
|Smoke Bellew (1926) 87: ‘We could make it if they had the souls of clams,’ Kit told Shorty [...] ‘We could have made it to-day if they hadn’t turned back.’.|
|Human Side of Crook and Convict Life 155: Don’t care if I’m locked up all day if’e makes it. Go on, Comny!|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 233: I’ll make it. Just let go. And if I can’t, I’ll make it anyway.‘The Visiting Hour’ in|
|Man with the Golden Arm 166: Don’t lean so hard, Zosh. I can’t hardly make it.|
|Blackboard Jungle 82: ‘Think you’ll make it, teach?’ West asked.|
|Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 137: Just let me git one more chance. I know I’ll make it this time.|
|No Beast So Fierce 91: ‘You’ll make it.’ ‘I’ll make it — but goddam! I ain’t been convicted yet.’.|
|London Embassy 50: I’m afraid I can’t make it.|
|Straight Outta Compton 72: The guys who originally were supposed to be here couldn’t make it.|
(e) (US prison) to be granted parole.
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 808: made it – Granted a parole.|
(f) to survive, to stay alive.
|Mountain Murder 23: ‘How is he?’ Haynes asked. ‘He won’t make it,’ said Fields, shaking his head.|
|(con. 1944) Naked and Dead 670: Y’ think Ah’m gonna make it?|
|(con. 1969) Dispatches 79: Shit, Sarge, I ain’t gone make it. Oh damn, I’m gone die, ain’t ?|
|Corner (1998) 157: Word came back from the hospital that Bread didn’t make it.|
|Rough Riders 67: ‘He’s still in a coma?’ ‘The doctors aren’t sure he’ll make it’.|
(g) to get on, to relate.
|Joint (1972) 98: We tussled some for Auld Lang Syne, but I saw early on that we weren’t going to make it.letter 5 Dec. in|
|Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 131: My father [...] Me and this cat can’t make it.|
|Tenants (1972) 209: I’d have married Irene and gone to San Francisco [...] We might have made it together.|
|Life and Times of Little Richard 115: I developed a specially close relationship with Paul McCartney, but me and John couldn’t make it.|
|Shame the Devil 138: That he and Lisa wouldn’t make it was almost predictable.|
(h) to achieve a climax, to orgasm.
|69 Barrow Street 69: ‘I just wish I could make it,’ she said. ‘That’s all I want. [...] I like it but it never happens for me’.|
|in Sweet Daddy 22: You gotta look a long time [...] before you find a pross who ever makes it with a John.|
|Fireworks (1988) 181: I haven’t been able to make it since we split.‘Sunrise at Midnight’ in|
2. in senses of action.
(a) to do something, to visit or be at a place, to arrive.
|Iron Man 162: ‘Gonna come over and see me fight, champ?’ [...] ‘Don’t think I can make it.’.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 141: It was thirty minutes to the hotel where Hot Papa lived. Sure made it in twelve flat.‘Strictly Business’ in|
|Skid Row (1965) 32: I guess I’m going to make it on the week end.Participant Observation Journal in Wallace|
|On the Yard (2002) 83: Make it to church. Some of them Christer broads are all right.|
|All Bull 91: My mind was made up. A year in Yugoslavia, and then on to join the young country of Israel [...] I never made it.|
|Trainspotting 30: Rents cannae make it. Boo-fucking-hoo.|
|Kill Your Darlings 72: I may not make it tomorrow.|
(b) to move, to get on, to run off; also as imper.
|Long Good-Bye 10: ‘Straighten up and walk,’ I said, putting on the tough. I winked at him from the side. ‘Can you make it? Are you stinko?’ [...] He looked me over vaguely [...] ‘I have been,’ he breathed.|
|Diet of Treacle (2008) 25: ‘Let’s make it.’ ‘Make it?’ ‘Split [...] Cut out. Leave.’.|
|Trans-action 4 11/1: Style may [...] be expressed in the loose walk, the jivey or dancing walk, the slow cool walk, the way one ‘chops’ or ‘makes it’ down the street.‘Time and cool people’ in|
|Howard Street 54: ‘Yeah, yeah man,’ Cowboy interrupted. ‘Make it, willya.’.|
|Inner City Hoodlum 71: Let’s make it out there in the alley.|
|Harder They Come 315: Ah got ‘ta make it main, you dig?|
|At End of Day (2001) 152: That guard dying, and then daisy and them makin’ it to Canada.|
3. (US drugs) to take drugs, e.g. opiates, marijuana.
|Neurotica Aut. 45: Double lock the door, George. I’m gonna make it.|
|Viper 34: Frankie offered his own [cannabis] cigarette to me. ‘Why not make it man,’ he said dreamily.|
|Real Bohemia 61: I turned out on heroin for the first time in 1957 [...] and by ’58, I was really making it [constantly using].|
|Getting Straight 3: You make it on pot, don’t you?|
|Drugs from A to Z (1970) 155: make it [...] To do, achieve, accomplish something; specifically, to inject a narcotic and experience a high.|
4. to stop doing something, to abandon.
|House of Slammers 55: Aw, make it with that jive, man.|
1. to have sexual intercourse; either hetero- or homosexual.
|[||Swell’s Night Guide 76: ‘Slashing!’ said Bet; ‘and he’s a spicy looking cove, too; he’s got a nobby nut and whiskers. I think I shall make it all right there myself, ven my old man goes out on a month’s cadge.’ [...] ‘What!’ thought she; ‘make it all right with the chanter? She doss with him? Bust her precious boiler!’].|
|Scarlet Pansy 146: One of the two [...] spoke audibly, indicating Fay – ‘Ain’t it grand?’ ‘Grand,’ said the other, ‘It’s most marvellously gorgeous. I’d like to make it.’ She feigned not to hear.|
|(con. 1948) Flee the Angry Strangers 429: How’s ole Lizzie? You makin it with her at all? [...] She was good trimmin, right enough.|
|Huncke’s Journal (1998) 17: He [...] had threatened to beat her if he caught her making it with anyone else.‘A Story – New York’ in|
|Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 139: When she got me in her boudoir [...] she only tried to make it with me.|
|Panic in Needle Park (1971) 65: I hadn’t made it with any girls since I’d been home from jail that time.|
|Kings X Hooker 48: ‘You stinkin’ fag ... you’ll never make it with a woman’.|
|Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 47: Before we knew it we had made it together.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 112: To make it in the back of steamed-up Minis.West in|
|It Was An Accident 63: ‘I could make it quick.’ ‘You won’t be making it anyhow tonight Nicky.’.|
|Guardian Rev. 31 Mar. 23: The ex-nerd who makes it with the prom queen.|
2. to appear attractive.
|Viper 92: I disliked her the moment we met. But I obviously made it with her in a big way.|
3. (US) to have an orgasm.
|Algren ‘Day of the Alligator’ in Lonesome Monsters (1963) 204: I’ve never been able to make it any other way ever since.|
|Hell’s Angels (1967) 199: A lot of women can’t make it with just one guy at a time, they can’t get their jollies.|
|Garden of Sand (1981) 134: She grabbed his charging hairy butt with both hands and truly made it with a man for the first time in her life.|