Origin of hard time
Idioms and Phrases with give a hard time (1 of 2)
give a hard time
see hard time.
Idioms and Phrases with give a hard time (2 of 2)
Also, hard times. A period of difficulty or hardship, especially financial hardship. For example, Since Mom died, Christmas has been a hard time for Dad, or It's been hard times for both of them since they split up. It is also put as have a hard time, as in I'm having a hard time finishing this book. Charles Dickens used Hard Times as the title of a novel about poverty (1854). A more recent version is have a time of it, which despite its ambiguity (not specifying either “good” or “bad”) nearly always means “experiencing difficulty”; for example, We had quite a time of it in that hurricane. [Late 1300s]
give someone a hard time. Annoy or harass someone. For example, Don't let him give you a hard time; he's often late himself. [Colloquial; early 1900s]