have work cut out for
have (one's) work cut out for (one)
To be faced with a difficult task. I knew I had my work cut out for me when I saw how messy the play room was.
have one's work cut out for (one)
Fig. to have a large and difficult task prepared for one. They sure have their work cut out for them, and it's going to be hard. There is a lot for Bob to do. He has his work cut out for him.
have one's work cut out for one
Face a difficult task, as in This is a very large house to manage, so I have my work cut out for me. This expression alludes to cloth cut out to make a garment. [c. 1600]
work cut out for one, to have one's
To have trouble completing a task; to face a difficult job. This term, which alludes to a pattern cut from cloth that must then be made into a garment, has been used since about 1600. Anthony Trollope used it in Orley Farm (1862): “Everyone knew that his work was cut out for him.”