give them hell(redirected from give em 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.
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!"
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.