pain in the neck

Idioms & Phrases

pain in the neck

Also, pain in the ass or butt. A source of annoyance, a nuisance, as in Joan is a real pain in the neck, with her constant complaining, or Jack told his brother to stop being a pain in the ass. The first of these colloquial expressions dates from about 1900 and originated as a euphemism for the two less polite variants.

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