bane of one's existence, the(redirected from bane of one's existence)
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer