give them 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 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!"
See also: give, hell
References in classic literature ?
So Martin thought, and so he spoke when Brissenden urged him to give them hell.
Cone will have an idea, more or less, on how his Kings will fare here, with the Texters no pushovers and certain to give them hell, more so since TNT will be coming off a loss to Rain or Shine.
I'M A LUCKY D: PAGE 42 "We want to go to the best teams in the world and give them hell - in Manchester, in London, wherever.
He's a classy bowler too so there is no reason why England can't stand up and give them hell this week.
The answer is that we can't and when they are knocking on your door for the local elections give them hell.
It will be a pleasure to have them here but for the 90 minutes we want to give them hell," said the caretaker manager.
To put it in the vernacular, if we don't give them hell now they will give us hell later.
We've got to get at them and give them hell,' said Wales' number one, fresh from a performance that made him a candidate for Wales man of the match at Old Trafford.
He said: "We'll be ready for them and we're going to give them hell.
The people would call their legislators and give them hell.
The Ultras told me at Anfield that they'd give them hell in Turin and, although I hope and pray nothing happens, it looks inevitable.
As any full-blooded Scot knows, the one thing you must do after a hard night on the tiles is get up there the next morning, pretend you're feeling great and give them hell.
Whenever we went shopping she would argue with the sales assistants, and when waiters got our orders wrong she would give them hell.