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Thread: be handful for

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    #1

    be handful for

    Hi

    Mr X is a talented boxer and has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He was/is a handful for any opponent.

    What does it mean he is a handful for any opponent?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: be handful for

    Any opponent will find it difficult to beat him.

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    #3

    Re: be handful for

    However, that's not how I'm used to seeing this idiom used. The usage I'm personally familiar with is for rambunctious children. "Ah yes. Little Peter. He's quite a handful. Last week he put a frog in his sister's bed. This week, he painted the seat of his teacher's chair."

    What do others think?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: be handful for

    I agree that Barb's is the more common usage but if I saw it used in the context of a sportsperson, I would have no trouble understanding what was meant.

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    #5

    Re: be handful for

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    However, that's not how I'm used to seeing this idiom used. The usage I'm personally familiar with is for rambunctious children. "Ah yes. Little Peter. He's quite a handful. Last week he put a frog in his sister's bed. This week, he painted the seat of his teacher's chair."

    What do others think?
    I agree. In a fighting context "he would have his hands full" is what I would expect to hear.

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