play hard to get

play hard to get

deliberately adopt an aloof or uninterested attitude, typically in order to make yourself more attractive or interesting – informal


be hard put to

find it very difficult to

2001 - Marc Blake - 24 Karat Schmooze - He wore an Armani suit with a navy shirt, a club tie (although the vintners would have been hard put to name the actual club) and a Freemasonry pin.

hard as nails

very hard

(of people) insensitive or callous - without pity

hard as the nether millstone

callous and unyielding

The nether millstone is the lower of the two millstones by which corn is ground. The phrase alludes to Job 41 : 24 : His heart is as firm as a stone, and as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.

hard at it

busily working – informal

1997 - Independent - I leave home just after 6am each day and I'm hard at it by 7.30.

a hard case

a tough or intractable person

an amusing or eccentric person – Australian & New Zealand

a hard nut to crack

a person or thing that is difficult to understand or influence – informal

a hard row to hoe

a difficult task

Hoeing a row of plants is used here as a metaphor for very arduous work

the hard way

through suffering or learning from the unpleasant consequences of mistakes

1996 - Nozipo Maraire - Zenzele - I think she understands better than the rest of us that we are at heart one family, for she has had to learn the hard way.

put the hard word on

ask a favour of someone, especially a sexual or financial favour - Australian & New Zealand informal

1997 - Derek Hansen - Sole Survivor - But if he'd come to put the hard word on her, why hadn't he picked a more appropriate time?

Midmorning had never struck her as particularly conducive to romance.

hard nut to crack

someone who is difficult to deal with or hard to beat

a formidable person - informal

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