A hard row to hoe

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • A hard row to hoe a hard or wearisome task to perform
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. houe—Old High Ger. houwa (Ger. haue), a hoe.

Usage

In literature:

The man who has the happiness of marrying you, Stephen, will have a hard row to hoe!
"The Man" by Bram Stoker
I knew it was a hard row to hoe; but I stood up to the rack, considering it a duty I owed to the country that governed me.
"David Crockett: His Life and Adventures" by John S. C. Abbott
It's hard on his wife and he is having a devil of a row to hoe, but it will be the best thing for him in the end.
"Peter" by F. Hopkinson Smith
He had had a hard row to hoe, but he had hoed it with a will not affected by domestic accidents or inconveniences.
"The Money Master, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
Mind, now, I don't say she won't, but she's got a mighty hard row to hoe.
"Punchinello, Vol. 2, No. 29, October 15, 1870" by Various
And the cook in a camp in them old days had a damn hard row to hoe-i-oh!
"Big Timber" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
Elder, I have been having a hard row to hoe, and am an unlucky fellow.
"In The Boyhood of Lincoln" by Hezekiah Butterworth
You would have a hard row to hoe in some homes, believe me.
"Clematis" by Bertha B. Cobb
Joe has had a hard row to hoe, but now that he begins to see daylight he wants to do something for his sister.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866" by Various
There are many Americans like him, and when such a man turns reformer he has usually a hard row, indeed, to hoe.
"The Cattle-Baron's Daughter" by Harold Bindloss
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In poetry:

Are we so flabby, and are we so soft?
I have pondered the question long and oft;
And happy-go-lucky we may appear
When the fat and easy days are here,
When it's easy come and it's easy go,
And there's never a long, hard row to hoe.
"The Heritage Of Ease " by C J Dennis

In news:

A great and good man, but bringing him to life in a debunking age is a hard row to hoe.
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