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Avoid these words. Seriously.

hard luck

Misfortune, adversity, as in He's had a lot of hard luck in his day. This expression is also used in the phrasehard-luck story, a tale of one's misfortune that is related in order to get sympathy (or a donation). For example, We can't ignore her hard-luck story, even if you doubt that it's true. [ Second half of 1500s ]
Also see: tough break
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • It was a hard-luck symposium, of course; but there was more to it than just a panhandle touch.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • I found somebody who listened sympathetically to my hard-luck story.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • I often think of it when some man comes to me with a hard-luck story.

    Saturday's Child Kathleen Norris
  • He'd been known as a hard-luck man as far back as he could remember.

    The Wealth of Echindul Noel Miller Loomis
  • I attribute the fact that Yale only had five points to two hard-luck facts.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • Yes—for I don't want to hear any hard-luck stories now, when I'm eating.

    Lucky Pehr August Strindberg
  • Good Lord, the hard-luck stories I hear every day of my life.

    The Shuttle Frances Hodgson Burnett

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