give (one) 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.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give somebody a rough, hard, bad, etc. ˈtime (of it)

(informal) make somebody’s life very difficult because you do not like them: Ever since I started work here, she’s been shouting at me and giving me a hard time.
See also: give, somebody, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

give (someone) a hard time

1. To make life difficult for; harass.
2. To make fun of; tease.
See also: give, hard, time
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.
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