Make It Worth Your While: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
January 22, 2024

The phrase "make it worth your while" is commonly used to offer a reward or compensation for someone's effort or time. It suggests that the person making the offer will ensure the other party benefits from their actions or involvement in a particular task or activity.

In short:

  • It's an offer of compensation or reward for effort or time.
  • It's used to incentivize someone to do something or to show appreciation for their effort.

What Does "Make It Worth Your While" Mean?

The phrase "make it worth your while" implies a promise of a benefit or reward in exchange for someone's help, effort, or time. It's often used in situations where someone is asked to do something that might require extra effort or is outside their normal responsibilities. For instance, if someone is asked to stay late at work, their boss might say, "I'll make it worth your while," implying some form of compensation or reward for the additional time spent at work.

More about the phrase's meaning:

  • It's typically used in a context where the reward is not specified immediately but is understood to be forthcoming.
  • It can be used in both professional and personal settings.
  • It often implies a mutually beneficial arrangement or deal.
  • This phrase can sometimes be used in negotiations or persuasive situations.
  • Similar phrases include "compensate you for your time," "reward your efforts," and "make sure you're rewarded."

Where Does "Make It Worth Your While" Come From?

The exact origin of the phrase "make it worth your while" is not clearly documented, but it likely emerged from the concept of ensuring that time or effort expended is compensated or acknowledged appropriately. The phrase has been a part of the English language lexicon for several decades, used in various contexts to imply a reward or compensation.

Historical Example

"At least, I will venture to say that he is very likely to become your lover; and therefore you are to consider whether he is a prize so well worth having, as to make it worth your while to reform your manners in order to secure him."

- Tales of Real Life by Amelia Opie, 1827

10 Examples of "Make It Worth Your While" in Sentences

To illustrate how this phrase is used in various situations, let’s check out some examples:

  • If you stay late tonight to finish this report, I'll make it worth your while with a bonus.
  • Help me organize the event, and I’ll make it worth your while – you won’t regret it.
  • Kidding aside, investing time in learning this skill will undoubtedly make it worth your while.
  • Our company will make it worth your while if you refer a successful candidate for the job.
  • Even with the best-laid plans, it’s the effort and dedication you put in that will make it worth your while.
  • The coach said he would make it worth the team's while if they won the championship.
  • If you can get that project done by Friday, I’ll make it worth your while with an extra day off.
  • Good going on your progress so far. Keep up the hard work, and it will surely make it worth your while.
  • Tackling challenges one at a time can seem slow, but the progress you make will definitely make it worth your while.
  • He agreed to help move the furniture, knowing his friends would make it worth his while with pizza afterward.

Examples of "Make It Worth Your While" in Pop Culture

This phrase is seen in various forms of media, often indicating a promise of reward or compensation.

Let's explore some examples:

  • Gerard M. McCormick authored "Time Management: Make It Worth Your While," a book focusing on effective time management strategies.
  • In the film "No Country for Old Men," a character named Wells says, "I could make it worth your while. I could take you to an ATM with 14 grand in it, and everyone just walks away."
  • The short film "I Will Make It Worth Your While" (2023) revolves around Declan, a con man and restaurant owner desperate to save his business.
  • Artificial Pleasure's song "I'll Make It Worth Your While" is about letting loose and dancing without care. It's the second single from the band.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Make It Worth Your While"

Here are some alternative phrases with a similar meaning:

  • Compensate you generously
  • Reward you handsomely
  • Ensure you’re rewarded
  • Give you something in return
  • Offer you a good deal
  • Make sure you benefit
  • Pay you back
  • Reciprocate your effort
  • Return the favor
  • Give you an incentive

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Make It Worth Your While":

  • What does "make it worth your while" mean?

"Make it worth your while" means to offer a reward or compensation in return for someone's effort or time.

  • How can I use "make it worth your while" in a sentence?

This phrase can be used to promise a benefit for help or effort. For example, "If you help me move this weekend, I'll make it worth your while.

  • Is "make it worth your while" used in formal contexts?

It's more commonly used in informal or conversational settings but can be adapted for formal use, especially in business negotiations.

  • Can this phrase be considered a bribe?

It depends on the context. While it typically implies a legitimate reward, it could be perceived as a bribe if used inappropriately.

  • Is the reward always monetary?

No, the reward can be anything of value to the person, not necessarily money. It could be a favor, a gift, or any form of compensation.

  • How old is this phrase?

It's difficult to pinpoint its exact age, but the phrase has been in use for several decades.

  • Can "make it worth your while" be used in negotiations?

Yes, it is often used in negotiations to indicate that there is a benefit or added value for agreeing to a proposal.

  • Is this phrase used globally?

While it is commonly understood in English-speaking countries, its recognition can vary in different cultures and languages.

  • Does "make it worth your while" imply a long-term commitment?

Not necessarily. The phrase can be used for both short-term and long-term arrangements.

  • Can this phrase be used in personal relationships?

Yes, it can be used in personal contexts to indicate that someone's effort or help will be appreciated and rewarded.

Final Thoughts About "Make It Worth Your While"

The expression "make it worth your while" is a versatile expression used to offer compensation or reward in exchange for effort, time, or cooperation. It can be used in a variety of settings, from personal favors to business negotiations, and implies a mutual benefit.

In summary:

  • It's a phrase used to promise a reward or compensation for assistance or effort.
  • It can be used in both informal and formal settings.
  • The reward can be monetary or any other form of compensation that is valued by the recipient.
  • It's useful in negotiations and personal interactions to indicate appreciation for assistance.

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