thorn

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(there's) no rose without a thorn

There is rarely a good or positive person, thing, or situation that does not have some negative or unpleasant aspect (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?" Our teacher is usually very supportive and patient, but if you mess around in her class, she'll tear you a new one. There's no rose without thorns, I guess.
See also: no, rose, thorn, without

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.
See also: flesh, thorn

be a thorn in (one's) side

To be constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble for one. My professor was an environmental activist when he was younger. 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. This project has turned into a real thorn in our side.
See also: side, thorn

become a thorn in (one's) flesh

To become a constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My professor was always a passionate environmental activist. Apparently, he's become quite a thorn in the oil companies' flesh lately. This lawsuit has really become a thorn in my flesh. Let's just settle out of court.
See also: become, flesh, thorn

become a thorn in (one's) side

To become a constant or persistent cause of annoyance, frustration, or trouble. My professor was always a passionate environmental activist. Apparently, he's become quite a thorn in the oil companies' sides lately. This lawsuit has really become a thorn in my side. Let's just settle out of court.
See also: become, side, thorn

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.
See also: crown, of, thorn

on thorns

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?
See also: on, thorn

a 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!
See also: flesh, thorn

a 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. 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. This project has turned into a real thorn in our side.
See also: side, thorn

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.
See also: flesh, thorn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: no, rose, thorn, without

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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."
See also: flesh, thorn
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

(there is) no rose without a thorn

every 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’.
See also: no, rose, thorn, without

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

on thorns

continuously uneasy, especially in fear of being detected.
See also: on, thorn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be a thorn in your ˈflesh/ˈside

be a person or thing that repeatedly annoys you or stops you doing something: This patient is a real thorn in my side. He’s always complaining of feeling sick and I can never find anything wrong with him.
See also: flesh, side, thorn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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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