a thorn in the flesh

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a thorn in the flesh

A constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My little brother is such a thorn in the flesh—he always wants to do stuff with me, especially when I'm trying to hang out with my friends. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger, and apparently he has become a thorn in the flesh for oil companies over the years.
See also: flesh, thorn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

thorn in the flesh/one's side, a

A source of constant irritation. This expression appears in several books of the Bible; in the Book of Judges (2:3) it refers to enemies who “shall be as thorns in your sides,” and in the New Testament Paul refers to his infirmities as “given to me a thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). The term remains current.
See also: flesh, thorn
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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