feast or famine


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feast or famine

Describing a situation in which there is either an excess or a lack of quantity. Freelance projects always seem to be feast or famine, unfortunately—this line of work is very unpredictable.
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*(either) feast or famine

Fig. either too much (of something) or not enough (of something). (*Typically: be ~; have ~.) This month is very dry, and last month it rained almost every day. Our weather is either feast or famine. Sometimes we are busy, and sometimes we have nothing to do. It's feast or famine.
See also: feast

feast or famine

Also, either feast or famine. Either too much or too little, too many or too few. For example, Free-lancers generally find it's feast or famine-too many assignments or too few, or Yesterday two hundred showed up at the fair, today two dozen-it's either feast or famine . This expression, which transfers an overabundance or shortage of food to numerous other undertakings, was first recorded in 1732 as feast or fast, the noun famine being substituted in the early 1900s.
See also: feast

feast or famine

If someone describes a situation as feast or famine, they mean that there is always either too much or too little of something. Money is a problem. `It's feast or famine with me,' she says. Note: People often vary this expression. This new series is a feast in what is otherwise a famine of intelligent television. After a long famine, a mini-feast: investors are once again providing banks with the capital they need.
See also: feast

feast or famine

either too much of something or too little.
See also: feast

feast or famine

Either an overabundance or a shortage. This expression originated as either feast or fast, which is how it appeared in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia (1732) and still survived in 1912 (“Dock labour has been graphically described as ‘either a feast or a fast,’” London Daily Telegraph). In America, famine was substituted sometime during the twentieth century. The term is still frequently applied to alternating overabundance and shortages of work, as is often the case for freelancers, seasonal laborers, and the like.
See also: feast
References in periodicals archive ?
Then we will have the retailers putting up their prices, along with manufacturers of everyday devices, Will it stop just there, though, or will they all jump on the bandwagon, the underpaid people back to where it's either feast or famine ...
If City had kept more clean sheets I'd have seen his argument, but it has been feast or famine and that's where it falls down.
People may enter and leave my life, but Jesus is a constant, bad and good times, times of feast or famine, sunshine or snow, I believe, know, I am not alone.
You have to make the choice between feast or famine. If you believe that dealing with too much work is a problem, imagine the problem of not having work to keep the lights on.
"Feast or Famine" is a psychological thriller that personifies 21st century thinking: How many of us choose to believe lies on a daily basis, because we find comfort in the safety of our boxes?
Several wall pieces by the author demonstrate his plaster slab transfer method, while Christina Antemann's nudes and Richard Burkett's Feast or Famine Platter use decals on slipcast porcelain.
Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams said: "Neither bookmakers nor punters want feast or famine and on Saturday we had a feast.
"Ideas about obesity are based on concepts of feast or famine. As humans, we developed ways of coping with famine by expressing genes like CRTC3 to slow the rate of fat burning.
22 and released recently by NAFCU that it is often feast or famine when it comes to attracting potential merger partners.
Editor's Note: It's feast or famine when it comes to sex.
EVERYONE knows acting is a feast or famine profession.
It's either feast or famine for the fragile Canadian feature-film industry.
NEW YORK-It was feast or famine for domestic furniture manufacturers in April, with some reporting double-digit increases in orders and others saddled with double-digit declines, according to a monthly report from BDO Seidman.
The fourth quarter of 2003 continued to be feast or famine for the assisted living industry, according to the newest Key Financial Indicators[TM] report from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries.