a bed of nails

a bed of nails

Something painful, challenging, or unpleasant. This project is a bed of nails—it's just so tedious. My family members are constantly arguing, so spending time with them can be a bed of nails.
See also: bed, nail, of

a bed of nails

a problematic or uncomfortable situation.
A bed of nails was originally a board with nails pointing out of it, lain on by Eastern fakirs and ascetics.
See also: bed, nail, of
References in periodicals archive ?
The reaction I'm most surprised at when I get lifted up in the air by my ankles, or when I lie on a bed of nails, like at my birthday party, is that people break into tears.