have many irons in the fire


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have many (or other) irons in the fire

have many (or a range of) options or courses of action available or be involved in many activities or commitments at the same time.
Various tools and implements made (or formerly made) of iron are called irons , for example grappling irons or branding irons. The metaphor is of a blacksmith or other worker who heats iron objects in a fire until they reach the critical temperature at which they can be shaped or used.
See also: fire, have, iron, many
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