a devil of a job

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a devil of a job

A difficult or frustrating time; much difficulty. I'm having a devil of a job getting this window open—I think it has been painted shut. We had a devil of a job convincing Grandpa to go to the doctor for that bad cough.
See also: devil, job, of

devil of a job

 and devil's own job
the most difficult task. We had a devil of a job fixing the car. It was the devil's own job finding a hotel with vacancies.
See also: devil, job, of

a devil of a job

or

the devil's own job

If you have a devil of a job or the devil's own job to do something, it is very difficult to do. We had a devil of a job finding you in that place. Michael was having the devil's own job to make himself heard next to the roadworks.
See also: devil, job, of

a (or the) devil of a —

something very large or bad of its kind. informal
1919 Katherine Mansfield Letter We had the devil of a great storm last night, lasting for hours, thunder, lightning, rain & I had appalling nightmares!
See also: devil, of

a/the ˈdevil of a job, nuisance, fellow, etc.

(old-fashioned) a difficult or an unpleasant example of something: We’re going to have a devil of a job getting the roots of that tree out of the ground.
See also: devil, of
References in classic literature ?
But when he had drawn and engaged his youthful antagonist he discovered that, far from disarming him, he would have the devil's own job of it to keep from being killed.
Without it, they will have the devil's own job to trouble an Ireland side which has won 18 of its last 19.
Nevertheless, having painted themselves into a corner over Ireland, the EU are finding it the devil's own job to get out of it.
the devil's own job stoking coal "It ain't easy being Satan." (Not cool, either!)
Unfortunately, the referee has got the devil's own job trying to work out what's real and what's fake.
Where it was once the devil's own job to find salt cod in Yorkshire, it's now readily available thanks to the shops catering for our vibrant West Indian community.
If the Grand National is suddenly seen as tainted goods in commercial terms it is a hugely potent threat to the race and I fear Aintree may face the devil's own job finding a replacement sponsor from outside the betting industry.
It's the devil's own job trying to persuade them that years of selective breeding have now placed the entrance to the milk bar a lot nearer the ground.
Sir - Apropos of all this brouhaha over the Penderyn vodka ad, I had no idea what existentialism meant - it is a word not bandied about down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon - and I had the devil's own job finding it in the dictionary: "a modern philosophical movement stressing personal experience and responsibility and their demands on the individual, who is seen as a free agent in a deterministic and seemingly meaningless universe".
We had the devil's own job getting ENGLAND past the censors, lest it be considered racist."
It's just that once she sets foot on a red carpet, it's the devil's own job to shift her.
Their evergreen Golf may be the finest for 30 years but it's having the Devil's own job to find buyers.
He said: ``Our national government has opened a Pandora's box of racism, which we in South Wales will have the Devil's own job to control at a local level.
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