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a long row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Immigration reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a long row to hoe, given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a long row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hoe, long, row

row back

To quickly or abruptly reverse or retreat from one's earlier position, decision, or opinion. Primarily heard in UK. The actor had to row back when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference. The government is rowing back on the decision to increase water charges after nationwide protests erupted on Friday.
See also: back, row

a hard row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Tax reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a hard row to hoe, given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a hard row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hard, hoe, row

a tough row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Immigration reform was one of the new President's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a tough row to hoe given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a tough row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hoe, row, tough

have (one's) ducks in a row

To be well-organized, prepared, and up-to-date. We need to have our ducks in a row to ensure that there are no problems at home while we're gone on our trip. Before you accuse your husband of cheating on you, you better have your ducks in a row.
See also: duck, have, row

in a row

In a continuous, uninterrupted series. I can't believe you won ten games in a row!
See also: row

get (one's) ducks in a row

To become well-organized, prepared, and up-to-date. We need to get our ducks in a row to ensure that there are no problems at home while we're gone on our trip. Before you accuse your husband of cheating on you, you better have gotten your ducks in a row.
See also: duck, get, row

kick up a fuss

To be a nuisance or cause a disturbance by complaining, arguing, etc. At most big box stores, if you kick up a fuss about a product that didn't meet your expectations, you'll almost definitely get a refund.
See also: fuss, kick, up

get one's ducks in a row

Fig. to get one's affairs in order or organized. Jane is organized. She really gets all her ducks in a row right away. You can't hope to go into a company and sell something until you get your ducks in a row.
See also: duck, get, row

hoe one's own row

Rur. to mind one's own business. Tom: You're cutting up those carrots awful small. Jane: Hoe your own row! He didn't get involved in other people's fights. He just hoed his own row.
See also: hoe, own, row

kick up a fuss

 and kick up a row; kick up a storm
Fig. to become a nuisance; to misbehave and disturb (someone). (Row rhymes with cow. Note the variations in the examples.) The customer kicked up such a fuss about the food that the manager came to apologize. I kicked up such a row that they told me to leave. Oh, what pain! My arthritis is kicking up a storm.
See also: fuss, kick, up

row (someone or something) out to something

to carry someone or something in a rowboat from the shore out to something. Will you row me out to the island? I rowed out all the visitors to the little island.
See also: out, row

tough row to hoe

 and hard row to hoe
Fig. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. It's a tough row to hoe, but hoe it you will. This is not an easy task. This is a hard row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough

get one's ducks in a row

Also, have one's ducks in a row. Complete one's preparations, become efficient and well organized, as in I'm trying to get my ducks in a row before I go to Europe. This synonym for get one's act together probably alludes to lining up target ducks in a shooting gallery. [Slang; 1970s]
See also: duck, get, row

kick up a fuss

Also, kick up a row or storm . Create a disturbance; start a fight. For example, The soup was cold, and Aunt Mary began to kick up a fuss, calling for the manager, or There's no need to kick up a row; the boys will leave quietly, or If they fire him, Carl is ready to kick up a storm. These expressions all employ kick up in the sense of "raise dust or dirt," a usage dating from the mid-1700s.
See also: fuss, kick, up

skid row

A squalid district inhabited by derelicts and vagrants; also, a life of impoverished dissipation. For example, That part of town is our skid row, or His drinking was getting so bad we thought he was headed for skid row. This expression originated in the lumber industry, where it signified a road or track made of logs laid crosswise over which logs were slid. Around 1900 the name Skid Road was used for the part of a town frequented by loggers, which had many bars and brothels, and by the 1930s the variant skid row, with its current meaning, came into use.
See also: row, skid

tough row to hoe

Also, hard row to hoe. A difficult course, hard work to accomplish, as in He knew he'd have a tough row to hoe by running against this popular incumbent. [First half of 1800s]
See also: hoe, row, tough

get your ducks in a row

or

have your ducks in a row

mainly AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you get your ducks in a row or have your ducks in a row, you get everything well organized and under control. The people who've been running the business for the last few years seem to be getting their ducks in a row. Dan's a thorough kind of guy. He isn't going to do anything until he's got all his ducks in a row. Note: The `ducks' in this expression are duckpins. The game of duckpins is a variation of bowling, with ten smaller pins and a smaller ball with no finger holes. The literal meaning of `to get your ducks in a row' is to get your duckpins set up for the next game.
See also: duck, get, row

a hard row to hoe

or

a tough row to hoe

A hard row to hoe or a tough row to hoe is a situation which is very difficult to deal with. With four children under six and very little money, my mother had a hard row to hoe. In a criminal prosecution against the police, the prosecutor has a very tough row to hoe. She is the first to admit that being a woman in politics has been a hard row to hoe.
See also: hard, hoe, row

in a row

COMMON If something happens a particular number of times in a row, it happens that many times without a break. For the second day in a row Adam was the only guest at breakfast. We were beaten by them nine times in a row.
See also: row

on skid row

mainly AMERICAN, INFORMAL
Skid row is a poor part of a city where many people who are homeless and alcoholic live. He worked for twenty years catching drug dealers on the city's skid row. Note: You say that someone is on skid row when they have lost all their money and possessions. A drug addict who lived on skid row, she fit the profile of the other missing women.
See also: on, row, skid

get (or have) your ducks in a row

get (or have) your facts straight; get (or have) everything organized. North American informal
1996 Brew Your Own You really want to have all your ducks in a row before the meeting.
See also: duck, get, row

kick up a fuss (or a stink)

register strong disapproval; object loudly to something. informal
See also: fuss, kick, up

a hard (or tough) row to hoe

a difficult task.
Hoeing a row of plants is used here as a metaphor for very arduous work.
See also: hard, hoe, row

get/have (all) your ˌducks in a ˈrow

(especially American English) have made all the preparations needed to do something; be well organized: We need to get all our ducks in a row before beginning work on the project.
See also: duck, get, have, row

kick up a ˈfuss, ˈrow, etc.

(informal) complain very noisily and loudly about something: He kicked up a real fuss about the slow service in the restaurant.Every time her newspaper arrives late, she kicks up a fuss.
See also: kick, up

in a ˈrow

(of a number of events, etc.) happening one after another; consecutively: We’ve won five games in a row.
See also: row

(on) skid ˈrow

(informal, especially American English) people who are on skid row live in a very poor part of town where there are many social problems: When he went bankrupt he lost everything, and ended up living on skid row for a few years. OPPOSITE: on easy streetThis expression came from the phrase skid road, referring to the poor part of towns where loggers (= people who cut down trees or cut and transported wood) lived. Originally a skid road was a road made of large pieces of wood, used for moving logs to the mill.
See also: row, skid

skid row

n. the name for a place populated with ruined alcoholics and other down-and-out people. Just because they’re on skid row, it doesn’t mean they’re beyond help.
See also: row, skid

skid row bum

n. a down-and-out person; a low alcoholic beggar. Do you want to end up a skid row bum?
See also: bum, row, skid

tough row to hoe

n. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. This is not an easy task. This is a tough row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough

a tough row to hoe

Informal
A difficult situation to endure.
See also: hoe, row, tough
References in classic literature ?
At last I let go with my hands and feet, and fell heavily into the sea, hard by my raft on to which I then got, and began to row with my hands.
As I drew a still fresher soil about the rows with my hoe, I disturbed the ashes of unchronicled nations who in primeval years lived under these heavens, and their small implements of war and hunting were brought to the light of this modern day.
This is the result of my experience in raising beans: Plant the common small white bush bean about the first of June, in rows three feet by eighteen inches apart, being careful to select fresh round and unmixed seed.
to the Shoes of Fortune this was the cue; the whole man shrunk together and a most uncommon journey through the hearts of the front row of spectators, now began.
The Christians who were to row were ready and in hiding in different places round about, all waiting for me, anxious and elated, and eager to attack the vessel they had before their eyes; for they did not know the renegade's plan, but expected that they were to gain their liberty by force of arms and by killing the Moors who were on board the vessel.
For all that, however, by hard rowing we put out a little to sea, for it was now somewhat calmer, and having gained about two leagues the word was given to row by batches, while we ate something, for the vessel was well provided; but the rowers said it was not a time to take any rest; let food be served out to those who were not rowing, but they would not leave their oars on any account.
He lived alone in his house in Saville Row, whither none penetrated.
The mansion in Saville Row, though not sumptuous, was exceedingly comfortable.
Pipt's garden grew bun- trees, cake-trees, cream-puff bushes, blue buttercups which yielded excellent blue butter and a row of chocolate-caramel plants.
There was a row of windows extending nearly around the sides of the circular room, which rendered the place very light, and there was a back door in addition to the one leading to the front part of the house.
Howls of renewed wrath went up from Devil's Row throats.
On the ground, children from Devil's Row closed in on their antagonist.
We've gone and lost your father's flat, Diana, and I have a presentiment that we'll not be allowed to row on the pond any more.
The tide will suit at half-past ten; it will be a delicious time for a couple of hours to row to Luckreth and walk back, before the sun gets too hot.
You will have your row in the boat just the same, you know," she said to Maggie when they went out of the breakfast-room and upstairs together; "Philip will be here it half-past ten, and it is a delicious morning.