Hard lines

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Hard lines.

  (British & Australian informal)
something that you say in order to express sympathy for someone 'I failed my driving test again.' 'Hard lines.'
See also: hard, line
References in classic literature ?
It's pretty hard lines to stick a boy into an office at seventeen
The hunters, on the other hand, had stronger and more diversified faces, with hard lines and the marks of the free play of passions.
And all the courtiers and counsellors were amazed when they saw the hard lines round his mouth and the frown on his brow grow smooth, and heard the mild but mocking tones in which he answered the old woman, saying:
One of them added that it was hard lines that there wasn't any gentleman `such like as like yourself, squire', to show some sort of appreciation of their efforts in a liquid form.
Today we mean to communicate to the Princetown people where they should look for their missing man, but it is hard lines that we have not actually had the triumph of bringing him back as our own prisoner.
One, a tall, wiry, muscular old man, from the west; sunburnt and swarthy; with a brown white hat on his knees, and a giant umbrella resting between his legs; who sat bolt upright in his chair, frowning steadily at the carpet, and twitching the hard lines about his mouth, as if he had made up his mind 'to fix' the President on what he had to say, and wouldn't bate him a grain.
As the girl grasped the significance of his words she paled, but her lips set in a hard line and her eyes shone with a sudden fire of determination as she dropped the plane to within a few feet of the ground and at the opposite end of the meadow from the blacks and then at full speed bore down upon the savages.
And as Joan de Tany watched she saw the smile suddenly freeze to a cold, hard line, and the eyes of the man narrow to mere slits, and her woman's intuition read the death warrant of the King's officer ere the sword of the outlaw buried itself in his heart.
Terry Griffith, divisional vice president of hard lines and a 35-year Meijer veteran, has been named divisional vice president of merchandising.