bane of (one's) existence

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bane of (one's) existence

The source or cause of one's misfortune, unhappiness, frustration, or anxiety, usually used hyperbolically. I swear, this project is the bane of my existence. I've been working on it for months and still haven't made any real progress! Jane has been constantly annoying me all week. She's been the bane of my very existence!
See also: bane, existence, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the bane of somebody’s ˈlife/eˈxistence

a person or thing that makes somebody’s life unpleasant or unhappy: That car is always breaking down! It’s the bane of my life. OPPOSITE: a ray of sunshine
See also: bane, existence, life, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bane of one's existence, the

The agent of one’s ruin or misery; a thorn in the flesh. The earliest meaning of the noun bane was “murderer” and was so used in Beowulf (ca. a.d. 800). A somewhat later meaning was “poison,” which survives as part of the names of various poisonous plants, such as henbane or wolf’s bane. The current sense, an agent of ruin, dates from the late 1500s. Today it is almost always used hyperbolically, as in “The new secretary loses all my messages; she’s become the bane of my existence.”
See also: bane, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
Whatever might have been the plans of the Assistant Commissioner they had nothing to do with that desk work, which was the bane of his existence because of its confined nature and apparent lack of reality.
Ryan Faura, 29, stood up to the 'bane of his existence' in his essay that tackled baldness at an early age.
Henson), the former bane of his existence; even a probing police inspector (J.K.
A tormented teenager is determined to take revenge on the bully who's been the bane of his existence for years.
Marcus does - the bane of his existence - Honoria Baker-Sneed possesses the ring.
As for most trainers, late payers are the bane of his existence, messing up calculations in which finances are pared to the bone as it is.
I said to him loads of times, "Why don't you just come out, because everyone knows you're queer." I've been the bane of his existence, let me tell you.
The bane of his existence is "those telethon crips." During his time in the rehab hospital after his accident, the worst insult a fellow para or quad could hurl was to call you one of Jerry's kids.