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be a thorn in (someone's) side

To be a constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger, and, apparently, he was quite a thorn in the oil companies' sides at the time.
See also: side, thorn

crown of thorns

Something that causes one pain and suffering. Alludes to the crown of thorns that Jesus was made to wear before his crucifixion. Its usage is similar to the phrase "cross to bear." I can't stand to see how sick she has become. This illness is a real crown of thorns. This class is my crown of thorns. No matter how much I study, I just keep getting awful grades.
See also: crown, of, thorn

There's no rose without a thorn.

Prov. to enjoy any beautiful or pleasant thing, you must endure something difficult or painful. Mike: My bride is lovely and gracious, but I'm discovering that she has a terrible temper. Bill: There's no rose without a thorn.
See also: rose, thorn, without

*thorn in someone's side

 and *thorn in someone's flesh
Fig. a constant bother or annoyance to someone. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) This problem is a thorn in my side. I wish I had a solution for it. John was a thorn in my flesh for years before I finally got rid of him.
See also: side, thorn

a thorn in somebody's/something's side

also a thorn in the side of somebody/something
someone or something that continually causes problems Most teachers usually have one student in their class who is a thorn in their side. The town finds the casino a thorn in its side, even though it brings huge numbers of tourists to the town. Health inspectors are a thorn in the side of most restaurant owners.
See also: side, thorn

be a thorn in somebody's flesh/side

someone or something that keeps annoying you or causing you trouble A relentless campaigner, he was a thorn in the government's side for years.
See also: flesh, thorn

thorn in one's flesh

Also, thorn in one's side. A constant source of irritation, as in Paul's complaining and whining are a thorn in my flesh, or Mother's always comparing us children-it's a thorn in our sides. This metaphoric expression appears twice in the Bible. In Judges 2:3 it is enemies that "shall be as thorns in your sides"; in II Corinthians 12:7 Paul says his infirmities are "given to me a thorn in the flesh."
See also: flesh, thorn
References in periodicals archive ?
Apparently dissatisfied with his contract with the Thornless Cactus Farming Company, which was having trouble meeting scheduled payments, in February 1909 he began negotiating with Herbert and Hartland Law, who had made a good deal of money in the patent medicine business and were the current owners of San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel.
The Americans were the first to breed cultivated varieties, commercially growing them at least 50 years before they were offered for sale to British gardeners whose interest grew with thornless cultivars.
Good varieties include 'Black Butte', which produces huge fruits of excellent quality, and 'Veronique', a thornless, compact variety which bears large fruits in late summer.
check the plants you buy at the garden centre carefully, checking how big they grow and how much spacing you're going to need but don't worry if you haven't much room as there are a wealth of new compact and thornless varieties more suited to smaller gardens.
Black Diamond is a thornless blackberry cultivar recently released from the USDA-ARS blackberry breeding program.
There are apple and pear trees, fig trees, thornless blackberries, asparagus, and herbs as well as annual vegetables ranging from sweet corn and runner beans to cucumber, squashes and annual vegetables as well as perennials although the annuals need more sun, food and watering as they have to do so much in such a short space of time.
Its canes are thornless, which make this rose ideal for arbors, pergolas, or areas with high traffic.
There are types of thornless blackberries for the faint of heart.
A randomized field plot with 3 adjacent rows was planted with infested blackberries and certified nursery stock of two recommended cultivars, thorny 'Chickasaw' and thornless 'Apache'.
The thornless Blackberry Loch Tay makes picking the berries easy.
It's thornless and the fruits are the size of marbles.
The industry has given him high praise for five thornless blackberries soon to be released.
Most native honeylocust species have serious thorns on their roots, trunks, and branches, hut the nursery industry cast an approving eye on the thornless common variety (Gleditsia triacanthos), specifically the variation called 'Inermis.
Zabel: (b,+); Thornless Honey Locust; abundant in Unit 2 near old village site; BSUH 11424.
Thornless, with dreamy, old-fashioned pink flowers and soft green leaves, this rose is near-perfect.