give a hard time
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give (one) a hard time
1. To tease someone about something, often for one's own enjoyment. I hate talking to Uncle Ned at family parties—he always gives me a hard time about being a poetry major. I'm pretty sure that Kevin likes Katie, so I keep giving him a hard time about it.
2. To treat someone harshly and make things difficult for them. I think I've done a good job at work, but the boss keeps giving me a hard time—I don't think he likes me very much. Stop giving the interns such a hard time! They're doing the best they can.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give (someone) a hard time
1. To make life difficult for; harass.
2. To make fun of; tease.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.