piece of work

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a piece of work

A remarkably difficult, malicious, unpleasant, or objectionable person. Boy, our new boss is a real piece of work. Remind me to stay out of her way! I hear Amy's boyfriend is a piece of work.
See also: of, piece, work

piece of work

A remarkable person, achievement, or product: "He's a very tough piece of work" (Ted Koppel).
See also: of, piece, work

piece of work, a

An obnoxious individual. Originally this expression simply referred to something that had been created, and often in an admiring fashion. Shakespeare so used it in Hamlet (2.2), “What a piece of work is a man! . . . the Paragon of animals.” In the first half of the 1900s the term began to be used sarcastically and contemptuously, as in, “Lulu finally had to take her out of the room. Piece of work she is” (David Baldacci, Hour Game, 2004). A documentary film opening in June 2010 was entitled “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” alluding to her often insulting comedy.
See also: of, piece
References in periodicals archive ?
The horse looked well and did a brilliant piece of work.
Our Ryanair runner Poquelin did a great piece of work with Tito Bustillo - as good as he's ever done.
Developer MCD is showing its support of the arts by teaming up with the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham to provide the venue for Turner Prize winning artist Gillian Wearing's latest piece of work.
In this piece of work, the names are jumbled up and overlaid.
It's not often we get to see such an important piece of work," says geneticist Pablo Rubinstein of the New York Blood Center.
MICK Kinane will partner Classic hope Motivator in a piece of work before confirming he will take the ride on Michael Bell's son of Montjeu in next month's UltimatePoker.
Yes, The Football Factory is a contentious piece of work which offers no moral judgement for the actions of its characters, but having said that it's a powerful, and at times extremely entertaining piece of work.
Her memoir, the story of what it took for this woman to become a survivor and the prices she had to pay, is a potent piece of work, partly because Beer makes clear that by this telling she will have her final retribution on her tormenters.
Sidewalk is an inspirational and informative piece of work with conscience and purpose.
Even the fine preface by Abram, which quite rightly asserts the pre-eminence of architecture in the Perret firm's priorities, is an old piece of work, rehashing an essay that appeared for English readers in Construction History for 1987.
Runner-up to Breedsbreeze in Sandown's Tolworth Hurdle last time, having won the Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot in December, the seven-year-old produced what Evans described as an "exemplary" piece of work on Saturday.
It shows they are able to write, produce and perform a piece of work designed for a specific, and demanding, audience.
Another researcher who has studied the problem, Steven Chown of the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, calls the new paper "a remarkable piece of work.