harry

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play Old Harry with (something)

To ruin or cause serious damage to something; to greatly upset, disrupt, or negatively affect something; to play the devil with something ("Old Harry" being a nickname for the devil). Lack of oversight allowed overzealous investment bankers to play Old Harry with the economy. I love wine, but it plays Old Harry with my stomach!
See also: harry, old, play

any Tom, Dick, or Harry

Any common, undistinguished person; anyone at all, indiscriminately. You don't want any Tom, Dick, or Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want just any Tom, Dick, or Harry turning up.
See also: any, harry

Tom, Dick, or Harry

A common, undistinguished person; any manner of person, indiscriminately. (Usually in the form "(just) any Tom, Dick, or Harry.") You don't want just any Tom, Dick, or Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want Tom, Dick, or Harry turning up.
See also: harry

(every) Tom, Dick, and Harry

 and any Tom, Dick, and Harry
Fig. everyone, without discrimination; ordinary people. (Not necessarily males.) The golf club is very exclusive. They don't let any Tom, Dick, or Harry join. Mary's sending out very few invitations. She doesn't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry turning up.
See also: and, harry

every Tom, Dick, and Harry

anyone Draw the curtains or we'll have every Tom, Dick, and Harry peeking in the window.
Usage notes: usually said about any person you do not know or think is unimportant, and sometimes used in the form any Tom, Dick, or Harry: I want a qualified plumber to do the job, not just any Tom, Dick, or Harry.
See also: and, every, harry

Tom, Dick and/or Harry

anyone, especially people that you do not know or do not think are important Draw the curtains or we'll have every Tom, Dick and Harry peering through the window. I want a qualified plumber to do the job, not just any Tom, Dick or Harry.
See also: and, dick, harry

every Tom, Dick, and Harry

Also, every mother's son; every man Jack. Everyone, all ordinary individuals, as in This model should appeal to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. The use of masculine names in this way dates from Shakespeare's time (he used Tom, Dick, and Francis in 1 Henry IV), but the current one dates from the early 1800s. The two variants are largely British usage but occasionally are used in America. The first is recorded as early as 1583, whereas the second dates from the first half of the 1800s.
See also: and, every, harry