Kissing And Making Up – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Would you like to say that someone has made up, or that they have 'buried the axe' and put a long or short disagreement to rest? The phrase 'kissing and making up' is a common English phrase that can be used to say or imply just this. This post unpacks the meaning, origin, and the correct use of the phrase.


'Kissing and making up' is a common type of figurative saying in the English language that can be used to imply that two (or more) parties have put their conflict to rest, or resolved an implied issue.

The phrase 'to kiss and make up' means that conflict has been put aside or resolved.

It can be said directly to someone, or it can be said about someone in the context of a conversation with another person.

If you 'kiss and make up' then the saying implies cooperation, and it has almost the same meaning as to use 'burying the axe' in relation to people who have had a disagreement.

The phrase can be used without context, but commonly has its context either given or stated by the rest of the conversation.

The opposite of the saying can also be used to say that people 'did not kiss and make up' or that they have 'not kissed and made up', which is used to imply that the conflict or issue remains unresolved.

The phrase is most common as an informal phrase, and it is not something that is considered acceptable to say within a formal context.

The phrase 'kiss and make up' implies friendship bonds, and has no romantic or sexual implications when it is used.

Example Usage

“Look, I know I wanted to shoot you about the pineapple on the pizza. How about we just kiss and make up? I like the rest of what's on your menu a whole lot.”

“If you don't kiss and make up, you're never going to survive the next week at work with this guy. He might throw you out of the second floor like a bad printer in the eighties.”

“Kiss and make up. There's no reason why you should avoid your mother for the rest of your lives, other than the fact that she's dead.”

“Kiss and make up with your brother. It's not like you're in a fucking Marvel comic, just go ahead and speak to the guy once.”


The phrase 'kiss and make up' couljd have originated as early as the beginnings of the 1800s, according to some online language resources. Use of the phrase is considered to be first used around this time, with the phrase first having romantic implications that it does not necessarily carry today.

In the 1800s, 'kissing and making up' meant fights or disagreements between lovers, but this is not the case when the phrase is said today.

The phrase can be used to refer to any disagreements, usually between friends, though might also be used in other ways.

Modern use of the saying has continued, and it has changed little in meaning since the early figurative use of the phrase other than to change the type of disagreement to which a person refers.

Phrases Similar to Kissing and Making Up

  • Burying the hatchet

Phrases Opposite to Kissing and Making Up

  • Like two cats in a washing machine

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Kissing and making up
  • To kiss and make up
  • Kissed and made up

Ways People May Say Kissing and Making Up Incorrectly

There are several ways in which someone can use the phrase 'kissing and making up' in the wrong way, or misunderstand the meaning of the saying.

Someone can misspell the phrase, or misunderstand the intentions of the speaker.

'Kiss and make up' does not have romantic implications in modern use, though might have meant a disagreement between partners or lovers in the early 1800s.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Kissing and Making Up

The correct way to use the phrase 'kissing and making up' is to use it in the same way as the expression 'burying the hatchet', or to say that a disagreement has been resolved or laid to rest.

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