play hell with

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.
See also: hell, play
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.
See also: hell, play
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

play (merry) hell with

throw into turmoil; disrupt. informal
See also: hell, play
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play (merry) ˈhell with somebody/something

(British English, informal) disturb, upset or trouble somebody/something very much: These storms play merry hell with our TV reception.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Or was she worried her dazzling new teeth might play hell with the stained glass and put the vicar off his eulogy?
His friend and class fellow Syed Hussain Naqvi told in our last meeting Capt Asfandyar said, soon he be directly fighting the terrorists and play hell with them and he proved it fighting in Badhber.
Lord Kinnock wrote in yesterday's Observer: "In the leadership election, we are not choosing the chair of a discussion group who can preside over two years or more of fascinating debate while the Tories play hell with cuts in local services and public investment, extend injustice and flatlining incomes, sustain or worsen private debt, and deepen the balance of payments, productivity, housing and poverty deficits.
And he would play hell with the referees on the television if they let players off for swearing or the like."
THE GREAT NORTH RUN A half marathon I've discovered is more than 10 miles That's going to wobble me innards and play hell with me piles Apparently there are stops for water but not any pies Regardless of my entreaties and my starvation cries It is also sung that the road is lone and unending It is not what I thought and not what I was intending So here I am in my new trainers and vest Facing this Sunday when I should be at rest People all around stretching and looking quite fit Here I am with me fat kite feeling a bloody old twit.
'They're going to win and then they're going to play hell with Ireland!' Gareth Isaac, 69, of Troed y Bryn, Caerphilly 'Great wins have made us want to support them even more.
THE weather is due to play hell with the Wimbledon schedule today, but at least Tim Henman is safely through to the second round.
Travel, jet lag, sore muscles, over-tiredness and uncomfortable sleeping conditions play hell with the ability to sleep for some people.
"If I see a van or lorry belonging to a company whom we've assisted, either with grant aid or by leasing or renting property to them, which doesn't give Irish the prominence it should, I'll take a photograph of it and play hell with them afterwards.
When that happens to my regular ISP I call in and play hell with them until it's fixed.
Heels, however, shorten the calf muscles and play hell with the balls of your feet.