give someone hell

Idioms & Phrases

give someone hell

Also, give someone the devil. Scold someone harshly. For example, The boss gave them hell for not finishing in time, or Mom will give her the devil if she doesn't get home soon. Also see give it to, def. 1.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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