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play (merry) hell with (someone or something)
To cause issues or disruptions for someone or something. This wonky Internet signal is playing merry hell with my site edits right now.
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
play merry hellmainly 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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
play (merry) hell withthrow into turmoil; disrupt. informal
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