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pile Pelion on Ossa

1. To further complicate something that is already tedious or challenging. Ossa and Pelion are two mountains in Greece. A: "I told Becky you would pick her up." B: "I already have so much to do today—quit piling Pelion on Ossa!" Just when I thought I was almost done sorting these files, my boss piled Pelion on Ossa and brought me another box of them.
2. To do something that seems futile. I know that I'm just piling Pelion on Ossa by telling you to stay away from that boy, but I'm your father, and I don't want to see you get hurt. That couch will never fit up the steps—tell them to stop piling Pelion on Ossa!
See also: on, ossa, Pelion, pile

pile (or heap) Pelion on Ossa

add an extra difficulty or task to an already difficult situation or undertaking. literary
In Greek mythology, the mountain Pelion was held to be the home of the centaurs, and the giants were said to have piled Mounts Olympus and Ossa on its summit in their attempt to reach the heavens and destroy the gods.
See also: on, ossa, Pelion, pile

heaping Pelion upon Ossa

Adding difficulty to difficulty; fruitless efforts. The reference is to the attempt by the giants in Greek mythology to climb to heaven by piling Mount Ossa upon Mount Pelion.
See also: heap, ossa, Pelion, upon