tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

tough row to hoe

 and hard row to hoe
Fig. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. It's a tough row to hoe, but hoe it you will. This is not an easy task. This is a hard row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tough row to hoe

Also, hard row to hoe. A difficult course, hard work to accomplish, as in He knew he'd have a tough row to hoe by running against this popular incumbent. [First half of 1800s]
See also: hoe, row, tough
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.

tough row to hoe

n. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. This is not an easy task. This is a tough row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

A difficult course to follow; hard work to accomplish. This metaphor comes from nineteenth-century America, when most people lived in rural areas and cultivated at least some land. David Crockett used it in his Tour to the North and Down East (1835): “I never opposed Andrew Jackson for the sake of popularity. I knew it was a hard row to hoe; but I stood up to the rack.”
See also: hard, long, row, tough
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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