busy as a beaver/bee

(as) busy as a beaver (building a new dam)

Very busy, assiduous, or hardworking. The phrase refers to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his little brother, Sam's been busy as a beaver this summer. I've been as busy as a beaver building a new dam this year. I've had almost no free time!
See also: beaver, busy, new

(as) busy as a bee

Very busy. I'm currently choreographing three plays, so I'm as busy as a bee. Can we meet next week instead? I'm busy as a bee right now.
See also: bee, busy
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

busy as a beaver/bee

Extremely industrious. The proverbial comparison to bees dates from Chaucer’s time. The one to beavers is newer, going back only to the seventeenth century; it also is put as works like a beaver and eager beaver. Among more recent proverbial comparisons for being busy, which liken it more to nervous overactivity than ambitiousness, is busy as a one-armed paperhanger, an Americanism dating from about 1910.
See also: beaver, bee, busy
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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