pain in the neck


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pain in the neck

An especially irritating, aggravating, or obnoxious person, thing, or situation. You know, Jack, you may be my friend, but you can be a real pain in the neck sometimes! This calculus homework is a pain in the neck. It's not that I don't understand it, it's just so tedious!
See also: neck, pain

pain-in-the-neck

(used before a noun) Very irritating, aggravating, or obnoxious. I've still got a few pain-in-the-neck jobs to do around the farm before I can call it quits for the day. We're having Mary over for dinner tomorrow night. I just hope her pain-in-the-neck husband doesn't come along as well.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pain in the neck

Fig. a bother; an annoyance. This assignment is a pain in the neck. Your little brother is a pain in the neck.
See also: neck, pain
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pain in the neck

Also, pain in the ass or butt . A source of annoyance, a nuisance, as in Joan is a real pain in the neck, with her constant complaining, or Jack told his brother to stop being a pain in the ass. The first of these colloquial expressions dates from about 1900 and originated as a euphemism for the two less polite variants.
See also: neck, pain
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 pain in the neck

INFORMAL
COMMON If someone or something is a pain in the neck, they are very annoying. He was a pain in the neck. I was glad when he left my department. `Sorry,' he said. `They've forgotten to insure the plane. It's a pain in the neck, but what can I do?'
See also: neck, pain
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a pain in the neck

an annoying or tedious person or thing. informal
There are a number of vulgar slang alternatives to neck in this idiom, such as a pain in the arse or, in the USA, ass .
See also: neck, pain
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a pain in the ˈneck

(British English also a pain in the ˈarsetaboo/ˈbum/ˈbackside) (American English also a pain in the ˈasstaboo/ˈbutt) (informal) a person or thing that you find annoying: Her new boyfriend is a real pain in the neck — he never stops talking.
See also: neck, pain
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pain in the neck

n. a difficult or annoying thing or person. (see also pain in the ass.) My boss is a pain in the neck.
See also: neck, pain
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

pain in the neck, a

A nuisance. This term replaced the earlier pain in the stomach about the turn of the twentieth century; both are euphemisms for a pain in the posterior—pain in the butt, pain in the ass. Rolling Stone (April 7, 1977) had it: “It was an increasing pain in the ass to do the same material each night.”
See also: pain
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
WHAT TO DO FOR A PAIN IN THE NECK: The Complete Program for Neck Pain Relief is available at your local bookstore or favorite dot.com bookseller.
Individuals suffering from these symptoms are often viewed as a pain in the neck by physicians, who shuttle them from specialist to specialist and misdiagnose their underlying problem for years, says Stanley Lesse of the Neurological Institute of New York.
He can be a pain in the neck. If there is anything he doesn't like, he will tell you right away.