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- Babies you about as much as Perry White babies Clark Kent —Peter H. Lewis describing a tough-to-master computer program, New York Times, 1985
- (The man is as) hard as a cash register —Dialogue, “Miami Vice” television drama, broadcast January 7, 1986
- (She can be) hard as a mineral —Philip Roth
The “Hard as a mineral” lady is the mother of Nathan Zuckerman, hero of several Roth novels.
- Hard as flint —Larry McMurtry
- Hard as my fist —Tennessee Williams
- Hard as a tortoise-shell —John Galsworthy
- Hardboiled as a picnic egg —Edward E. Paramore
- Resilient and tenacious as an amoeba —Natascha Wodin
- She’s [Genevieve Bujold] tough as a little green apple —Rex Reed
- Tough and leathery as a jockey —John Mortimer
- Tough and shrill as an old bird —H.E. Bates
- Tough and hard-boiled as an Easter egg —Anon
- Tough as a black oak —Dee Brown
- Tough as a bone —W. S. Gilbert
- Tough as a fast food steak —Tim McCarver, describing baseball player Dave Parker on television, January, 1987
- Tough as a kibbutz woman —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- (She was short and fat,) tough as a monkey —Rudolf Nassauer
- Tough as an elephant’s hide —Calder Willingham
- (He was as) tough as a resistant bacterium —Patrick Suskind
- Tough as a stale bagel —Anon
- (Memories as) tough as a thorn —Babette Deutsch
- Tough as boiled owls —Hubert H. Humphrey on his opponent for presidential election
- (She’s big as a damned barn and) tough as knife metal —Ken Kesey
- Tough as marshmallows —Anon, Forbes, March 23, 1987
The simile was used as a blurb to introduce an article about the government sounding tough but not following through.
- (She was) a tough lady, like a military jeep rolling from place to place on thick tires —Harvey Jacobs
- (She’s as) tough as old boots —Mary Bridgman
Around since 1870. A popular variant: “Tough as old shoe leather.”
- Tough as seaweed —Linda Pastan
- Tough as teak —Bryan Forbes
- Tough as tire treads —Lynn Haney
The person being compared to tire treads is the late Edith Piaf.
|Noun||1.||toughness - enduring strength and energy |
endurance - the power to withstand hardship or stress; "the marathon tests a runner's endurance"
legs - staying power; "that old Broadway play really has legs"
|2.||toughness - the property of being big and strong|
strength - the property of being physically or mentally strong; "fatigue sapped his strength"
|3.||toughness - the elasticity and hardness of a metal object; its ability to absorb considerable energy before cracking|
|4.||toughness - impressive difficulty|