doing a number on her


      • deceiving or manipulating
        To deceive or manipulate someone, often in a harmful or negative way

      • causing emotional distress
        To cause emotional distress or harm to someone, often through manipulation or mistreatment

    Examples of doing a number on her

    • The Sales Manager's persuasive tactics really did a number on her during the negotiation meeting.

      In this example, "doing a number on her" is used as a phrasal verb to convey the strong influence or persuasion that the Sales Manager had on her during the negotiation meeting. It suggests that the Sales Manager's tactics were effective in convincing her, perhaps to an extreme or significant extent.

    • The comedian's jokes really did a number on her during the comedy show.

      This example implies that the comedian's humor was extremely amusing or entertaining to the point that it left her in a state of shock, surprise, or even disbelief.

    • The business analysis presented by the consultant left the board members completely dumbfounded; the data was so impressive that it did a number on them.

      Here, "doing a number on them" is utilized with a collective noun (them) to emphasize the intensity of the impact that the analysis had on the board members. It suggests that the board members were highly impressed or stunned by the statistics in the analysis, as if they had been numerically affected or bombarded.

    • The movie's action scenes had such an impact on her that it did a number on her nerves.

      This example describes how the movie's action sequences left her feeling incredibly tense or anxious. It shows how an intense experience, like watching thrilling actions scenes, can have a profound effect on a person's emotions.

    • His lies and deceit have really done a number on her.

      The idiom "doing a number on her" in this example means to cause significant harm or confusion to somebody. The speaker is saying that the person's lies and deceit have caused great distress and confusion for "her".

    • I'm not quite sure what happened at the party, but I think somebody did a number on me.

      In this example, the speaker is implying that they have no memory of what happened at the party, possibly because somebody drugged or otherwise manipulated them in some way. "Doing a number on me" in this context means to inflict a significant and negative impact on the speaker.

    • After listening to his endless excuses, I'm starting to think he's done a number on me again.

      This example could mean that the speaker is growing increasingly suspicious that the person they are talking about is lying to them again, causing them to doubt and question their own perceptions and memories. "Done a number on me again" refers to a repeated experience of being deceived or manipulated by the same person.

    • The unexpected and chaotic turn of events has really done a number on us all.

      In this final example, "done a number on us all" means that the surprising and confusing situation has caused a great deal of distress, uncertainty, and confusion for everyone involved. The speaker is implying that the impact of the situation is significant and far-reaching. The idiom can be used to describe a wide range of experiences, from small-scale and personal deceptions to large-scale and communal disorientations.


    The idiom "doing a number on her" can have multiple meanings, all relating to deceiving, manipulating, or causing emotional distress to someone. It is often used to describe the negative impact someone's actions have on another person, whether through deceit, manipulation, or emotional harm.

    Origin of "doing a number on her"

    The origin of the idiom "doing a number on her" is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in American English slang. The term "doing a number" originally referred to performing a song or dance in a specific way, often with skill or flair. Over time, the expression evolved to also encompass the idea of deceiving or manipulating someone, which likely led to its current meaning of causing emotional distress. The idiom has been in use for several decades and has become a common phrase in everyday language, particularly in informal or colloquial settings.

    Examples of the idiom can be found in various forms of media, such as literature, film, and music, where it is used to convey the idea of someone being deceived, manipulated, or emotionally harmed by another person's actions. Overall, the idiom "doing a number on her" has become a widely recognized and understood expression for describing the negative impact someone can have on another individual.