give them hell

(redirected from Give them hell!)

give (one) hell

1. To give someone a hard time by means of aggressive actions or attitude. I'd avoid the boss today—he's already given me hell.
2. To scold or reprimand someone, often severely. Mom will give you hell if you come home after curfew yet again.
3. To produce or present problems or challenges for one. This discrepancy in the budget is really giving me hell—I still haven't figured it out.
See also: give, hell

give them hell

An exclamation of encouragement for someone who is about to participate in something, often a competition, that is intended to motivate them to give their maximum effort in order to defeat their opponent ("them") or achieve success within that arena. "Them" is often shortened to "'em" or "em." Good luck out there, Dara! Give them hell! A: "I just don't know if I'm cut out for college." B: "Nonsense! You're gonna give 'em hell!"
See also: give, hell
References in periodicals archive ?
Hence the loud, indignant insistence on 'sovereignty', said an experienced lawyer to his young apprentice, 'If you are weak in law, stress the facts; if you are weak in facts, stress the law; but if you are weak in both facts and law, give them hell!' The way India has been giving hell to all its critics would please that lawyer.'
Later, with the battle cry "Give them hell!" he incites a crowd to riot, keeping the cops busy while the guys in tights attack the center of power.