He’s definitely a thorn in their eye

On 60 Minutes, Chinese activist Jhou Fengsou was talking about the Chinese artist and dissident, Badiucao, and how he is, like “Tank Man” in Tianenman Square, an irritant to the Chinese Communist Party:

Zhou Fengsuo: Yeah, that’s the spirit of ‘Tank Man,’ the person versus totalitarian nation. He’s definitely a thorn in their eye.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/badiucao-60-minutes-2021-12-26/

This is a mashup of “thorn in (one’s) side” (a constant or persistent cause of annoyance) and “stick (poke) a thumb (finger) in the eye” (to provoke or taunt). “Side” and “eye” have similar sounds, and the two expressions are close in meaning as they both refer to annoying someone. A big thanks to Jim Kozlowski for hearing this one and sending it in!



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