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tough customer


a difficult person to deal with


Teenage girls can be tough customers for their parents.

Usage Note

slang's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Examples from the Web for tough customer
Historical Examples
  • The new agent, however, is a tough customer, and in his quality of Clerk of Petty Sessions dabbles in legal lore.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • The newcomer was a tough customer, and should certainly have gone in first.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • It soon became evident that she was not a man-of-war; but she might be a privateer, and if so, would prove a tough customer.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • A tough customer was tio Paella, and no one said a good word for him.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • He had the impression that she was, in his own phraseology, “a tough customer.”

    The Fighting Shepherdess
    Caroline Lockhart
  • That ship out there is a big fellow, and will prove a tough customer.

    The Two Supercargoes W.H.G. Kingston
  • It was surely a test, for the old bear had been a tough customer and his hide was half an inch thick and as hard as sole leather.

  • Hes a tough customer and Ive got a hunch we wont get any cooperation from him.

  • Well, all I got to say is, let him keep his hands off my boy Tobe, or he'll find out the kind of a tough customer I am.

    Tales From Bohemia Robert Neilson Stephens
  • Robert is the tough customer; Mark the highly civilized gentleman.

    The Red House Mystery A. A. Milne
Slang definitions & phrases for tough customer

tough cookie

noun phrase

  1. tough guy
  2. A stubborn and durable person: He's a tough cookie. He isn't going to talk, threats or no threats (1928+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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