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a hard row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Tax reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a hard row to hoe, given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a hard row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hard, hoe, row

a long row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Immigration reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a long row to hoe, given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a long row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hoe, long, row

bros before hoes

slang A reminder, said by a male to his male friend(s), asserting that their friendship should be more important than relationships or interactions with females. Come on, man, don't ditch us for that girl you just met! Bros before hoes, bro!
See also: before, bro, hoe

hoe (one's) own row

To not interfere in someone else's affairs; to not pry or be nosy. Hoe your own row, will you? I can take care of my problems just fine. I really wish she would hoe her own row and stop asking me about my finances. So there I was, hoeing my own row, when the security guard comes over and starts asking me all kinds of questions.
See also: hoe, own, row

a tough row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Immigration reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a tough row to hoe given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a tough row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hoe, row, tough
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hoe one's own row

Rur. to mind one's own business. Tom: You're cutting up those carrots awful small. Jane: Hoe your own row! He didn't get involved in other people's fights. He just hoed his own row.
See also: hoe, own, row

tough row to hoe

 and hard row to hoe
Fig. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. It's a tough row to hoe, but hoe it you will. This is not an easy task. This is a hard row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tough row to hoe

Also, hard row to hoe. A difficult course, hard work to accomplish, as in He knew he'd have a tough row to hoe by running against this popular incumbent. [First half of 1800s]
See also: hoe, row, tough
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a hard row to hoe

or

a tough row to hoe

A hard row to hoe or a tough row to hoe is a situation which is very difficult to deal with. With four children under six and very little money, my mother had a hard row to hoe. In a criminal prosecution against the police, the prosecutor has a very tough row to hoe. She is the first to admit that being a woman in politics has been a hard row to hoe.
See also: hard, hoe, row
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a hard (or tough) row to hoe

a difficult task.
Hoeing a row of plants is used here as a metaphor for very arduous work.
See also: hard, hoe, row
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hoe

and ho
n. a prostitute; a whore. (Originally black. Streets.) Get them hoes outa here!

tough row to hoe

n. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. This is not an easy task. This is a tough row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

a tough row to hoe

Informal
A difficult situation to endure.
See also: hoe, row, tough
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.

tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

A difficult course to follow; hard work to accomplish. This metaphor comes from nineteenth-century America, when most people lived in rural areas and cultivated at least some land. David Crockett used it in his Tour to the North and Down East (1835): “I never opposed Andrew Jackson for the sake of popularity. I knew it was a hard row to hoe; but I stood up to the rack.”
See also: hard, long, row, tough
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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