run for one's money, (give) a

give (one) a run for (one's) money

To challenge one's ability, fortitude, or patience. Don't underestimate our opponents today—I think they'll give us a run for our money. Having an infant and a toddler sure is giving me a run for my money.
See also: for, give, money, run
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run for one's money, (give) a

A close contest or strong challenge; to give a good return for one’s expense. This term may come from the racetrack, where it is used to describe deriving pleasurable excitement from a horse race even if one does not win all one’s bets. The term appeared in a dictionary of slang in 1874 and has been used ever since. “They have had what is called in some circles a good run for their money,” reported the Pall Mall Gazette in 1889.
See also: for, run
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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