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Up to (one's) neck in alligators

business adage The full expression is some variation of: "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp." It is easy to be so overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly. I guess it's easy to forget, when up to your neck in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swamp.
See also: alligator, neck, up

swamp someone or something with something

to cover or deluge someone or something with something. The flood swamped our property with river water. The many orders for their product swamped the small business with too much to do.
See also: swamp


1. mod. very, very busy. I can’t handle it now. I’m swamped.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. Look at him! He’s swamped—stoned out of his mind.
See also: swamp
References in classic literature ?
It was just five days after the battle of the swamp that these seven companions were making their way through Jackson's Hole, a valley not far from the three Tetons, when, as they were descending a hill, a party of Blackfeet that lay in ambush started up with terrific yells.
When he did not discover me in sight within the valley he dashed, hissing into the rank vegetation of the swamp and that was the last I saw of him.
That piece of paper, as you call it, cost us the hard savings of years, it cost us weeks and months in the bush and amongst the swamps - it cost a man's life, not to mention the niggers we lost.
He was my partner, but he died in the swamps, poor chap.
Across the swamp and approaching the canoe house, Jerry, trotting happily at the heels of the two men, heard the wailing and sorrowing of many dogs that spelt unmistakable woe and pain.
I was startled when he answered, "We are returning, but in a line so as to pass near a swamp, into which we can gallop the horses as far as they can go, and then trust to our own legs; so that there is no danger.
Here we changed horses, and passed through some leagues of swamps and saline marshes.
The slanting rays of the sun were still hot; his clothes, soaked through with perspiration, stuck to his body; his left boot full of water weighed heavily on his leg and squeaked at every step; the sweat rain in drops down his powder-grimed face, his mouth was full of the bitter taste, his nose of the smell of powder and stagnant water, his ears were ringing with the incessant whir of the snipe; he could not touch the stock of his gun, it was so hot; his heart beat with short, rapid throbs; his hands shook with excitement, and his weary legs stumbled and staggered over the hillocks and in the swamp, but still he walked on and still he shot.
Picking up his gun and his hat, he called Laska, and went out of the swamp.
The estimated probability of nesting success for 2001, 2003-2006, and 2008 (Table 2) for Golden-winged Warblers in swamp forests (65% of 23 nests) was greater than in uplands (37% of 32 nests) (one-tailed t-test; df = 1, P < 0.
You go through, and there is text that tells about a food web in a swamp.
AN 11-year-old girl with Asperger's syndrome has been found safe after spending five days lost in the alligator-infested Florida swamps.
The GRCA has accepted four donations in the past three years in the same complex, making a total of 24 hectares (60 acres) of land preserved in the Oakland Swamp.
The fact that he modified this swamp with "Japanese" suggests that this swamp identity represented not merely an individual identity but a shared, culturally-particular identity.
The setting was a world away from Wimbledon but for 44 teams, including Cowdungbeath, Real Mudrid and Swamp Bog Millionaire, it was a field of dreams in their annual battle for the world title.