thorn in (one's) side

(redirected from thorn in his side)

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.
See also: side, thorn

*thorn in someone's side

 and *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.
See also: side, thorn

a thorn in your side

or

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.
See also: side, thorn

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’.
See also: side, thorn
References in periodicals archive ?
And while I always considered John Johnson to be a legend and an inspiration, to him I was little more than a thorn in his side. Back then, you see, advertising dollars were scarce enough for one national African American publication, let alone two.
Yet the Speke stylist is determined to rid himself of the 'thorn in his side', and is promising nothing less than a one-sided display of boxing when the bell goes in Altrincham next Friday night.