The phrase is derived from the Gaelic word mearachd, an error, a mistake; mearachdaich, mistake, err, miss; and the Gaelic word Nothaist (t silent—no-haist), a foolish person, an idiot. As a result, the Gaelic phrase mearachd-nothaist corrupted in English into mare's nest - the error of a fool.
Nounmare's nest (plural Mare's nests)
- A hoax
- A confused or complicated situation
- A ridiculous error, or supposed discovery, founded on an utter misconception.
- For examples of the usage of this term see the citations page.