I came across the Kannada saying "Benkiyalli aralida hoovu", meaning someone faced lot of difficulties in life. Is there an equivalent idiom/phrase in English?

closed as unclear what you're asking by RegDwigнt Aug 17 '14 at 12:30

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  • There is not remotely enough information to provide a correct answer. Does it describe the person or the life? Was it their own fault? Did they come out of it to be a better person, or did they collapse and give up? Is it a venerable expression or a recent coining? Elevated language or colloquial? A complete sentence, a compound adjective, a noun phrase? What do these words literally mean? We can't give you an idiom for X if you don't tell us what X is. – RegDwigнt Aug 17 '14 at 12:30
  • @RegDwigнt It describes a person, telling that he has faced lot of troubles in his life but still he is a very good person. But it doesn't mention whether he became successful or not, but he is a better person. – Rudra Murthy Aug 17 '14 at 13:45
  • @RegDwigнt IActually it's a movie title about a protagonist who was the lone working person in that family. She gives up her pleasures for family. She is referred to as the above said phrase. After this movie, this phrase is quite often used to describe a person with such qualities. – Rudra Murthy Aug 17 '14 at 13:54

A very common and easily understood expression you can use is: hard knock life.

Urban Dictionary

To have a life that is difficult, where the elements of the world seem to be against you all the time.

For example, life on the streets, the life of a hustler or a dealer.

  • 1
    also "he's had a hard road". – Fattie Aug 17 '14 at 13:39

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