To repair all these houses is (really) a ______.

I want a phrase/idiom/expression for the blank above which means a huge task, or huge work.

I want the idiom/phrase/expression to mean a task that is very difficult, needs a lot of attention, and a lot of work, and cannot be done fast and quick.


4 Answers 4


1: of, relating to, or characteristic of Hercules (Merriam-Webster)
...leading to figurative...
2: a herculean task
(often not capitalized)
of extraordinary power, extent, intensity, or difficulty

Hercules was incredibly strong, but he was assigned some incredibly difficult tasks - which you can google yourself if you're interested; you don't need to know the details to understand the idiomatic usage.

There's also (again, from Merriam-Webster)...

of, relating to, or suggestive of the labors of Sisyphus
specifically requiring continual and often ineffective effort
a Sisyphean task

Where Sisyphus was assigned a task that was effectively impossible [to complete]. And if you don't want usages derived from Greek myths, we Brits can now use painting the Forth Bridge (for a "never-ending" task; by the time you've painted it all the way from one end to the other, the end you started at needs repainting).


Long haul is an idiomatic expression used for a lengthy and difficult task/effort/work/process.

A prolonged and difficult effort or task. - Lexico

If you say that a task or a journey is a long haul, you mean that it takes a long time and a lot of effort. - Collins

Ordeal is used colloquially as a hyperbole.

A very unpleasant and prolonged experience. - Lexico

To repair all these houses is an ordeal.

Ball-breaker (also ball-buster) is a US slang word that you can consider also.

A demanding and punishing task or situation. - Lexico

A difficult, boring, or exasperating job, problem, or situation. - OED
You can't believe what I've been through. And then today, a real ball-breaker.


a tough/hard row to hoe

something that is difficult to do or deal with.

Example: I am considering becoming a doctor, but I know that it's a tough row to hoe.


a gargantuan task

gigantic; enormous; colossal


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