thorn

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Related to Þorn: THTH

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

thorn in (one's) side

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. My little brother is such a thorn in my side—he always wants to do stuff with me, especially when I'm trying to hang out with my friends.
See also: side, thorn

thorn in the flesh

A constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My little brother is such a thorn in the flesh—he always wants to do stuff with me, especially when I'm trying to hang out with my friends.
See also: flesh, thorn

be a thorn in (one's) flesh

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's been quite a thorn in the oil companies' flesh ever since. This lawsuit is a thorn in my flesh. Let's just settle out of court.
See also: flesh, thorn

no rose without a thorn

There is rarely a good or positive thing, event, or circumstance that is not accompanied by something negative or unpleasant (i.e., just as a rose, which is beautiful, has painful thorns). A: "I can't believe the amount of taxes I have to pay on my lottery winnings!" B: "No rose without a thorn, eh?"
See also: no, rose, thorn, without

on thorns

Nervous or ill at ease. The young man beside me, on thorns due to the train's delay, got up and began pacing back and forth down the length of the cabin. The situation left me on thorns: Should I follow Molly, or stay and wait for help?
See also: on, 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: no, 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

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

a thorn in your side

or

a thorn in the side

COMMON If someone or something is a thorn in your side or a thorn in the side, they continually annoy you or cause trouble for you. She has become a thorn in the side of the government since publishing a number of reports pointing out that public cash was being wasted. Note: You can also say that someone or something is a thorn in your flesh or a thorn in the flesh. Her mother is still a thorn in her flesh — demanding, complaining and weeping by turns. Note: This refers to a passage in the Bible, in which St Paul talks about an illness or other problem: `There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.' (2 Corinthians 12:7) Some Pharisees, who were strictly orthodox Jews, used to deliberately hurt themselves by putting thorns in their clothes to prick them when they walked.
See also: side, thorn

(there is) no rose without a thorn

every apparently desirable situation has its share of trouble or difficulty.
This expression has been proverbial since the mid 15th century. The earliest recorded instance is in a work by John Lydgate ( 1430–40 ): ‘There is no rose…in garden, but there be sum thorne’.
See also: no, rose, thorn, without

a thorn in someone's side (or flesh)

a source of continual annoyance or trouble.
A thorn in the side comes from the biblical book of Numbers (33:55): ‘those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell’. A thorn in the flesh quotes 2 Corinthians 12:7: ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure’.
See also: side, thorn

on thorns

continuously uneasy, especially in fear of being detected.
See also: on, thorn

be a thorn in your ˈflesh/ˈside

be a person or thing that repeatedly annoys you or stops you doing something: This patient is a real thorn in my side. He’s always complaining of feeling sick and I can never find anything wrong with him.
See also: flesh, side, thorn
References in classic literature ?
But the thorn had not yet reached her heart, so the rose's heart remained white, for only a Nightingale's heart's-blood can crimson the heart of a rose.
So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and the thorn touched her heart, and a fierce pang of pain shot through her.
The world is a thorny wilderness, my daughter, and its thorns are watered with a rain of blood, and we wander in our wretchedness like lost travellers in a mist; nor do I know why our feet are set on this wandering.
When he was at a safe distance the boy extricated himself from the thorn tree; but not without inflicting new wounds upon his already tortured flesh.
He had a thorn in his hand, which he held out at arm's length, as if he were a little afraid of it.
There are lots of waste ground by the side of the roads in every village, amounting often to village greens, where feed the pigs and ganders of the people; and these roads are old-fashioned, homely roads, very dirty and badly made, and hardly endurable in winter, but still pleasant jog- trot roads running through the great pasture-lands, dotted here and there with little clumps of thorns, where the sleek kine are feeding, with no fence on either side of them, and a gate at the end of each field, which makes you get out of your gig (if you keep one), and gives you a chance of looking about you every quarter of a mile.
There was even a thorn upon the tip of his nose and he looked so funny that Dorothy laughed when she saw him.