give somebody 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 somebody ˈhell

1 make life unpleasant for somebody: Her back is giving her hell at the moment; she’s in constant pain.
2 shout at or speak angrily to somebody because they have done something wrong: His mother gave him hell for coming home so late.
See also: give, hell, somebody
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