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.
See also: feast

*(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 ?
Mais Okechi a note vendredi que tout le pays n'etait pas confronte a la famine et qu'aucune famille n'avait ete perdue jusqu'a present.
La Haut-commissaire britannique ainsi que le principal dirigeant de l'opposition, Hakainde Hichilema, du Parti pour le developpement national et la societe civile pour la reduction de la pauvrete, figurent parmi les parties prenantes qui ont demande au gouvernement de declarer la famine comme etant une catastrophe nationale pour que le pays recoive un soutien suffisant des donateurs.
I submit that the reaction by Kenyans is simply a moral panic; and the reporting as news of the famine in Turkana by the media, is akin to watching a movie re-run.
Against this background, Red Famine is an uneven work suffering severely from a single-minded insistence that we must understand the famine in Ukraine, in conjunction with assaults on members of the elite, as a catastrophe "with unique causes and attributes" (xxvi), "a disaster specifically targeted at Ukraine and Ukrainians" (193), deliberate and, in effect, genocidal.
80) to the exceptional famine that led to 'the doubling of child mortality in Iraq in the 1990s, due to the havoc caused by the first Gulf War, the international sanctions regime and the policies of Saddam Hussein'.
He added that "the situation is now much graver" than when the world governing body last warned of a risk of famine at the beginning of 2017 and again last November, because "of the sheer number of people at risk".
The Famine Action Mechanism (FAM) will provide early warning signs to identify food crises that could become famines, and trigger pre-arranged funding plans to allow early intervention.
Her most recent article, "Moving towards Multidirectionality: Famine Memory, Migration and the Slavery Past in Fiction, 1860-1890" appears in the Spring/Summer 2017 number of Irish University Review, which is titled Moving Memory: The Dynamics of the Past in Irish Culture.
The good news, for de Waal, is that the mechanisms of development and democracy mean that we now have an 'eminently achievable goal of definitively ending famine.' The bad news is that we also risk a 'counter-humanitarian backlash' in a world simmering with polarised ideologies, wars that drag on for decades, and the added perils of climate change and economic uncertainty.
There is concern that famine could exist in many parts of the RSS.
Famine affects societies worldwide, despite geography and time.
ROME, June 21 (KUNA) -- Famine has eased in South Sudan after a significant scale up in the humanitarian response, according to new analysis released on Wednesday.
To mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Irish Famine, (1) entrepreneur Norma Smurfit donated the work of sculptor Rowan Gillespie to the Irish state; it is now installed on the Custom House Quay along the northern bank of the river Liffey, which runs through Dublin city.
EUROPEAN nations failing to respond to their humanitarian obligations to refugees should learn the lessons of the Irish Famine, Michael D Higgins said yesterday.
Malthus, however, believed that the most "dreadful" of those checks, "gigantic, inevitable famine," was a relatively rare occurrence in early modern Europe.