play hell

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play (merry) hell with (someone or something)

informal To cause issues or disruptions for someone or something. This wonky Internet signal is playing merry hell with my site edits right now.
See also: hell, play

play merry hell

To complain loudly or disruptively; to behave in a chaotic or disruptive manner. The team's star quarterback played merry hell about the team's new policy, but he fell in line once the season started. The kids have been playing merry hell since dinner. I think we need to get them to bed!
See also: hell, merry, play

play hell with someone or something

Fig. to cause enormous disruptions with someone or something. (Use discretion with hell.) Your proposal would play hell with Gerry and his plans. This new event really plays hell with my schedule.
See also: hell, play

play hell


play merry hell

mainly BRITISH
If someone plays hell or plays merry hell, they cause trouble by behaving badly or complaining a lot. I went to the school and played hell with them. She played merry hell and stormed out in a rage. Note: Verbs such as kick up, raise or create can be used instead of play. I will be raising merry hell at the meeting tomorrrow.
See also: hell, play

play (merry) hell with

throw into turmoil; disrupt. informal
See also: hell, play
References in periodicals archive ?
If someone was 15 minutes late for anything, we'd all play hell.
First up is ex-MP Lembit Opik and Playboy model Kayla Collins, who play Hell Hole Kitchen.
He'll play hell claiming that role this time around.
I think that every dairy farmer's New Year's resolution should be to go along to your producer meetings and play hell.
THE weather is due to play hell with the Wimbledon schedule today, but at least Tim Henman is safely through to the second round.
If it was a child, the nation would play hell up, but because it's a pet people don't think it matters.