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be a thorn in (someone's) side
To be a constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger, and, apparently, he was quite a thorn in the oil companies' sides at the time.
crown of thorns
Something that causes one pain and suffering. Alludes to the crown of thorns that Jesus was made to wear before his crucifixion. Its usage is similar to the phrase "cross to bear." I can't stand to see how sick she has become. This illness is a real crown of thorns. This class is my crown of thorns. No matter how much I study, I just keep getting awful grades.
thorn in (one's) side
A constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger, and, apparently, he was quite a thorn in the oil companies' sides at the time. My little brother is such a thorn in my side—he always wants to do stuff with me, especially when I'm trying to hang out with my friends.
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.
be a thorn in (one's) flesh
To be a constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger, and apparently he's been quite a thorn in the oil companies' flesh ever since. This lawsuit is a thorn in my flesh. Let's just settle out of court.
no rose without a thorn
There is rarely a good or positive thing, event, or circumstance that is not accompanied by something negative or unpleasant (i.e., just as a rose, which is beautiful, has harmful thorns). A: "I can't believe the amount of taxes I have to pay on my lottery winnings!" B: "No rose without a thorn, eh?"
Anxious or tense. The young man beside me, on thorns due to the train's delay, got up and began pacing back and forth down the length of the cabin. The situation left me on thorns: should I follow Molly, or stay and wait for help?
thorn in (one's) flesh
A person or thing that is frequently problematic, aggravating, or annoying. My new neighbors blast music at all hours of the day and night—they're a real thorn in my flesh. My car has become such a thorn in my flesh—today is the third day this week that it wouldn't start for me!
There's no rose without a thorn.
Prov. to enjoy any beautiful or pleasant thing, you must endure something difficult or painful. Mike: My bride is lovely and gracious, but I'm discovering that she has a terrible temper. Bill: There's no rose without a thorn.
*thorn in someone's sideand *thorn in someone's flesh
Fig. a constant bother or annoyance to someone. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) This problem is a thorn in my side. I wish I had a solution for it. John was a thorn in my flesh for years before I finally got rid of him.
thorn in one's flesh
Also, thorn in one's side. A constant source of irritation, as in Paul's complaining and whining are a thorn in my flesh, or Mother's always comparing us children-it's a thorn in our sides. This metaphoric expression appears twice in the Bible. In Judges 2:3 it is enemies that "shall be as thorns in your sides"; in II Corinthians 12:7 Paul says his infirmities are "given to me a thorn in the flesh."
a thorn in your sideor
a thorn in the side
COMMON If someone or something is a thorn in your side or a thorn in the side, they continually annoy you or cause trouble for you. She has become a thorn in the side of the government since publishing a number of reports pointing out that public cash was being wasted. Note: You can also say that someone or something is a thorn in your flesh or a thorn in the flesh. Her mother is still a thorn in her flesh — demanding, complaining and weeping by turns. Note: This refers to a passage in the Bible, in which St Paul talks about an illness or other problem: `There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.' (2 Corinthians 12:7) Some Pharisees, who were strictly orthodox Jews, used to deliberately hurt themselves by putting thorns in their clothes to prick them when they walked.
(there is) no rose without a thornevery apparently desirable situation has its share of trouble or difficulty.
This expression has been proverbial since the mid 15th century. The earliest recorded instance is in a work by John Lydgate ( 1430–40 ): ‘There is no rose…in garden, but there be sum thorne’.
a thorn in someone's side (or flesh)a source of continual annoyance or trouble.
A thorn in the side comes from the biblical book of Numbers (33:55): ‘those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell’. A thorn in the flesh quotes 2 Corinthians 12:7: ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure’.