donner du fil à retordre à quelqu’un

The French expression “donner du fil à retordre à quelqu’un” offers lots of imagery as it translates literally to “to give a thread back to somebody to spin (or twist) again”. Here’s the English meaning:

  • to make somebody’s life difficult
  • to give somebody the run-around
  • to give somebody a hard time

Expressio.fr offers the following meaning in French: To cause somebody difficulties or trouble. Here’s an example sentence:

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  • Tout d’un coup j’ai plusieurs personnes qui m’appellent à la fois et ils me donnent du fil a retordre! I suddenly have lots of people that are calling me all at the same time and they’re making my life difficult!

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