Top 36 Slang For Trials And Tribulations – Meaning & Usage

Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes we need the right words to describe the challenges we face. From dealing with setbacks to overcoming obstacles, navigating through trials and tribulations can be tough. Luckily, our team has gathered a collection of the most relatable and empowering slang terms to help you express and conquer those difficult moments. Get ready to level up your vocabulary and feel understood in the midst of life’s rollercoaster ride!

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1. Stormy waters

This phrase refers to a challenging or turbulent situation that one is going through. It implies that the circumstances are rough and unpredictable, much like stormy waters in the ocean.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he found himself in stormy waters trying to make ends meet.”
  • In a discussion about a complicated relationship, someone might say, “Navigating through their issues has been like sailing through stormy waters.”
  • A person facing numerous challenges in their life might describe their situation as, “I feel like I’m constantly in stormy waters, always struggling to stay afloat.”

2. Tough break

This phrase is used to describe an unfortunate or unlucky event that happens to someone. It implies that the situation is difficult and disappointing.

  • For instance, “Losing the game in the final seconds was a tough break for the team.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s misfortunes, one might say, “He’s had a string of tough breaks lately.”
  • A person sympathizing with someone’s bad luck might say, “That’s a tough break, but things will get better.”

3. Hurdles and hurdles

This phrase emphasizes the presence of multiple obstacles or challenges that one must overcome. It suggests that the path to success is filled with difficulties and requires continuous effort.

  • For example, “She faced hurdles and hurdles on her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s accomplishments, one might say, “Despite facing numerous hurdles and hurdles, he never gave up.”
  • A person describing a challenging project might say, “We’re encountering hurdles and hurdles along the way, but we’re determined to complete it.”

4. Up hill battle

This phrase describes a difficult struggle or endeavor that requires significant effort and determination. It implies that the task at hand is akin to climbing a steep hill, which requires constant exertion.

  • For instance, “Getting the legislation passed was an uphill battle for the activists.”
  • In a conversation about personal challenges, one might say, “Every day feels like an uphill battle, but I refuse to give up.”
  • A person describing a difficult journey towards a goal might say, “It’s been an uphill battle, but I’m determined to achieve my dreams.”

5. Trial by fire

This phrase refers to a situation where someone is put to the test or faced with a challenging ordeal. It implies that the individual must prove their abilities or withstand intense pressure.

  • For example, “Starting a new job during a crisis was a trial by fire for the young employee.”
  • In a discussion about personal growth, one might say, “Going through that difficult experience was a trial by fire, but it strengthened me.”
  • A person describing a challenging situation might say, “I’m about to face a trial by fire, but I’m confident in my abilities to overcome it.”

6. Walk in the park

This phrase is used to describe something that is very easy or simple.

  • For example, “Compared to my last job, this new project is a walk in the park.”
  • A person might say, “I thought the exam would be difficult, but it turned out to be a walk in the park.”
  • In a conversation about challenges, someone might say, “Dealing with toddlers is a walk in the park compared to teenagers.”

7. Battling demons

This phrase refers to the process of confronting and overcoming personal challenges or inner conflicts.

  • For instance, “After going through therapy, she felt like she was finally able to start battling her demons.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been battling my own demons for years, but I’m finally making progress.”
  • In a discussion about self-improvement, someone might say, “Battling your inner demons is an essential part of personal growth.”

8. Grappling with adversity

This phrase means to face and deal with challenges or difficulties.

  • For example, “She has been grappling with adversity since losing her job.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been grappling with adversity my whole life, but it has made me stronger.”
  • In a conversation about resilience, someone might say, “Grappling with adversity builds character and resilience.”

9. Facing the music

This phrase means to confront the consequences or outcomes of one’s actions or decisions.

  • For instance, “After causing the accident, he knew he had to face the music.”
  • A person might say, “I made a mistake, and now I have to face the music.”
  • In a discussion about accountability, someone might say, “Facing the music is an important part of personal growth and learning from our mistakes.”

10. Swimming upstream

This phrase is used to describe the act of going against popular opinion or facing obstacles and challenges.

  • For example, “As a minority in a predominantly white neighborhood, she often feels like she’s swimming upstream.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve always had to swim upstream to achieve my goals.”
  • In a conversation about perseverance, someone might say, “Swimming upstream requires determination and resilience.”

11. Weathering the storm

This phrase refers to the act of facing and overcoming challenges or hardships. It implies the ability to withstand and persevere through tough situations.

  • For example, during a tough period in someone’s life, they might say, “I’m just weathering the storm right now.”
  • In a discussion about a company going through financial troubles, someone might say, “They’re really weathering the storm in the current market.”
  • A person offering support might say, “You’ll get through this. Just keep weathering the storm.”

12. Fighting the good fight

This phrase means to persistently and passionately fight for what is right or fair, even in the face of obstacles or opposition.

  • For instance, when advocating for a social justice issue, someone might say, “We need to keep fighting the good fight.”
  • In a conversation about a difficult legal battle, one might say, “They’re really fighting the good fight in court.”
  • A person encouraging someone else might say, “Don’t give up. Keep fighting the good fight.”

This phrase refers to the act of managing or maneuvering through difficult or troublesome circumstances. It implies the need for skill and strategy to overcome obstacles.

  • For example, when discussing a turbulent period in a relationship, someone might say, “We’re currently navigating rough waters.”
  • In a conversation about a company going through a crisis, one might say, “The CEO is skilled at navigating rough waters.”
  • A person offering advice might say, “Take it one step at a time. You’ll navigate these rough waters.”

14. Treading troubled waters

This phrase means to proceed with caution or care when facing challenging or troublesome circumstances. It implies the need to be mindful and deliberate in one’s actions.

  • For instance, when discussing a delicate political situation, someone might say, “They’re treading troubled waters with their recent decision.”
  • In a conversation about a person going through a personal crisis, one might say, “They’re treading troubled waters right now.”
  • A person offering guidance might say, “Take your time and tread these troubled waters carefully.”

15. Climbing uphill

This phrase refers to the act of confronting and overcoming difficult or unfavorable circumstances. It implies the need for extra effort and determination to make progress.

  • For example, when discussing a challenging project, someone might say, “We’re really climbing uphill with this one.”
  • In a conversation about a person striving to achieve a goal against all odds, one might say, “They’re climbing uphill, but they won’t give up.”
  • A person offering encouragement might say, “Keep pushing forward. You’re climbing uphill, but you’ll reach the top.”

16. Rough waters

This phrase is often used to describe a period of time or situation that is challenging or turbulent. It implies that one is navigating through rough and unpredictable circumstances.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he found himself in rough waters trying to make ends meet.”
  • In a discussion about a difficult project, someone might say, “We’re in rough waters right now, but I believe we can overcome the obstacles.”
  • A person going through a tough breakup might describe their emotional state as “feeling like they’re in rough waters.”
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17. Trials and tribulations

This phrase refers to the various challenges and difficulties one faces in life. It emphasizes the idea that life is filled with obstacles and adversity that must be overcome.

  • For instance, “She has faced many trials and tribulations throughout her career, but she never gave up.”
  • In a conversation about personal growth, someone might say, “Trials and tribulations are necessary for character development.”
  • A person going through a tough time might reflect on their experiences and say, “These trials and tribulations have made me stronger.”

18. Struggle street

This slang phrase is used to describe a period of time or situation that is particularly difficult or challenging. It implies that one is on a metaphorical street filled with struggles.

  • For example, “After losing their home in a fire, they found themselves on struggle street.”
  • In a discussion about financial hardships, someone might say, “I’ve been on struggle street for months trying to pay off my debts.”
  • A person going through a tough time might describe their situation as “living on struggle street.”

19. Hard knocks

This phrase refers to the tough or difficult experiences one goes through in life. It implies that one has faced adversity and learned valuable lessons from those experiences.

  • For instance, “He has learned many valuable lessons through the hard knocks of life.”
  • In a conversation about resilience, someone might say, “Hard knocks build character and strength.”
  • A person reflecting on their past struggles might say, “I’ve had my fair share of hard knocks, but they’ve made me who I am today.”

20. Tough times

This phrase is used to describe a period of time or situation that is challenging or difficult. It implies that one is going through a tough or trying period in their life.

  • For example, “During tough times, it’s important to lean on friends and family for support.”
  • In a discussion about economic downturns, someone might say, “Many businesses are struggling during these tough times.”
  • A person going through a difficult period might say, “I’m going through some tough times right now, but I know I’ll get through it.”

21. Hardship

Hardship refers to a period of difficulty or adversity. It can refer to various challenges or obstacles that one may face in life.

  • For example, “She has faced many hardships in her life, but she always manages to overcome them.”
  • A person might say, “Going through financial hardship can be incredibly stressful.”
  • Another might say, “The hardships of war can have a profound impact on individuals and communities.”

22. Tough road

A tough road refers to a difficult or challenging journey. It implies that the path ahead is not easy and may require effort, perseverance, and resilience.

  • For instance, “Starting a new business can be a tough road, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.”
  • A person might say, “Life threw me a tough road, but I’m determined to keep moving forward.”
  • Another might say, “The road to success is often a tough one, but the journey is worth it.”

23. Hurdles to jump

Hurdles to jump refers to obstacles or challenges that one must overcome. It implies that there are barriers in the way that require effort and determination to surpass.

  • For example, “She faced many hurdles to jump in her career, but she never gave up.”
  • A person might say, “Life is full of hurdles to jump, but each one makes us stronger.”
  • Another might say, “Overcoming hurdles can be a rewarding experience, as it allows us to grow and learn.”

24. Rough terrain

Rough terrain refers to a difficult or challenging path. It suggests that the journey ahead is not smooth or easy, requiring careful navigation and perseverance.

  • For instance, “Hiking through rough terrain can be physically demanding but also incredibly rewarding.”
  • A person might say, “Life sometimes throws us onto rough terrain, but it’s important to keep moving forward.”
  • Another might say, “Navigating rough terrain can be a metaphor for overcoming challenges and adversity in life.”

25. Stormy seas

Stormy seas refers to a metaphorical representation of turbulent or difficult times. It implies that one is facing challenges or hardships that are comparable to navigating through rough waters.

  • For example, “She weathered the stormy seas of her personal life and came out stronger.”
  • A person might say, “Navigating stormy seas can be challenging, but it’s important to stay resilient.”
  • Another might say, “Stormy seas test our strength and resilience, but they also provide opportunities for growth and self-discovery.”

26. Turbulent Times

This phrase refers to times of trouble and uncertainty, often characterized by instability and upheaval.

  • For example, “The country has been going through turbulent times with political unrest and economic instability.”
  • A person might describe their personal life as “going through turbulent times” due to a series of challenges and setbacks.
  • In a historical context, a historian might write, “The 1960s were marked by turbulent times, with social and cultural revolutions taking place.”

27. Adversity and Anguish

This phrase captures the experience of facing challenges and enduring intense emotional pain.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I have faced a lot of adversity and anguish in my life, but it has made me stronger.”
  • A writer might describe a character in a novel as “overcoming adversity and anguish to achieve their goals.”
  • In a motivational speech, a speaker might say, “We all face adversity and anguish at some point, but it is how we respond that defines us.”

28. Grit and Grief

This phrase combines the concept of perseverance and strength (grit) with the experience of profound sadness and mourning (grief).

  • For example, a coach might say, “To succeed in this sport, you need both grit and grief.”
  • A person going through a difficult breakup might express, “I’m trying to find the balance between grit and grief as I heal.”
  • A writer might describe a character as “displaying both grit and grief as they navigate through life’s challenges.”
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29. Misery and Melancholy

This phrase captures the experience of profound unhappiness and a deep sense of melancholy.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I’ve been living in a state of misery and melancholy since the loss of my loved one.”
  • A poet might write, “In the depths of misery and melancholy, I find inspiration for my words.”
  • In a therapy session, a person might describe their emotional state as “trapped in a cycle of misery and melancholy.”

30. Woes and Woes

This phrase emphasizes the presence of multiple problems and difficulties.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m dealing with financial woes and relationship woes at the same time.”
  • A journalist might report, “The country is facing economic woes and political woes, causing unrest among the population.”
  • In a conversation about life’s challenges, a person might say, “We all have our own woes and woes to overcome.”

31. Ordeals and Obstacles

This phrase refers to the various challenges and hurdles that one may face in life. It implies a sense of struggle and difficulty in overcoming these obstacles.

  • For example, “He has been through many ordeals and obstacles in his career, but he always manages to come out stronger.”
  • During a discussion about personal growth, someone might say, “Facing and overcoming ordeals and obstacles is essential for personal development.”
  • A motivational speaker might say, “Don’t be discouraged by the ordeals and obstacles that come your way, use them as stepping stones to success.”

32. Strife and Stress

This phrase refers to the conflicts and pressures that one experiences in life. It conveys a sense of tension and difficulty in dealing with these challenges.

  • For instance, “She has been dealing with a lot of strife and stress in her personal life.”
  • During a conversation about work-life balance, someone might say, “Managing strife and stress is crucial for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.”
  • A therapist might advise, “Finding healthy ways to cope with strife and stress is important for overall mental health.”

33. Challenges and Conundrums

This phrase refers to the various difficulties and puzzles that one may encounter in life. It suggests a sense of complexity and uncertainty in solving these problems.

  • For example, “He enjoys taking on challenges and conundrums because they stimulate his problem-solving skills.”
  • During a discussion about problem-solving, someone might say, “Finding creative solutions to challenges and conundrums is an important skill.”
  • A teacher might encourage students by saying, “Embrace challenges and conundrums as opportunities for growth and learning.”

34. Tribulations and Troubles

This phrase refers to the hardships and problems that one may face in life. It implies a sense of adversity and difficulty in dealing with these troubles.

  • For instance, “She has been through many tribulations and troubles, but she remains resilient.”
  • During a conversation about resilience, someone might say, “Overcoming tribulations and troubles builds strength and character.”
  • A support group leader might say, “Sharing experiences of tribulations and troubles can help others feel less alone.”

35. Hurdles and Hardships

This phrase refers to the barriers and challenges that one may encounter in life. It conveys a sense of obstacles and difficulties in overcoming these hardships.

  • For example, “He has faced numerous hurdles and hardships throughout his career, but he never gives up.”
  • During a discussion about perseverance, someone might say, “Overcoming hurdles and hardships requires determination and resilience.”
  • A coach might inspire their team by saying, “Remember, hurdles and hardships are opportunities for growth and improvement.”

36. Rough Times

This phrase is used to describe a challenging or tough period in someone’s life. It refers to a time of hardship, struggle, or adversity.

  • For example, “I’ve been going through some rough times lately, but I’m staying strong.”
  • A person discussing their past might say, “I’ve had my fair share of rough times, but I’ve come out stronger.”
  • Someone offering support might say, “I’m here for you during these rough times. You’re not alone.”