I came across this phrase that I don't understand. What does it mean?

frustrates the life out of me

I want to know how to use it too.

  • 1
    There is a common idiom - scare the life out of somebody to mean to scare somebody too much. You made one with frustrate along the same line. It means to annoy/irritate somebody too much. By the way where did you find it? Jan 20, 2015 at 15:00
  • I reckon I heard it from skysports
    – Midhun Raj
    Jan 20, 2015 at 17:05
  • Modelled after the vulgar expression: to beat the shit out of someone.
    – rogermue
    Jan 21, 2015 at 3:56

3 Answers 3


"- the life out of me", usually "scared the life out of me", is an idiom. It loosely means "until I had no energy left". If something frustrates the life out of me, I am exhausted from being so frustrated and feel like I can't do anything else.


It would be more common to say "... frustrates the hell out of me" or "... scares the life out of me". I'd avoid overusing this sort of idiom.


Literally, it means to frustrate to the point of death. It's the same basic pattern as "to crush the life out of", as a constrictor snake will crush the life out of its prey before it begins to feed.

If anything ever literally frustrated the life out of you, you'd no longer be in a position to tell us. However, something can frustrate you beyond what you are willing or able to tolerate. In such a case, this phrasing makes perfect sense.

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