have enough on (one's) plate(redirected from have enough on their plates)
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have enough on (one's) plate
To be sufficiently busy or preoccupied with work, problems, or difficulties as to be unable or unwilling to cope with anything more. I really wish I could help you move this weekend, but I have enough on my plate as it is!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have enough on your plateor
have a lot on your plate
COMMON If you have enough on your plate or have a lot on your plate, you have a lot of work to do or a lot of things to deal with. I'm sorry to bother you with it, Mark, but John's got enough on his plate. I have a lot on my plate over the next year with the Olympics coming up. Note: You can also say that someone has their plate full or has a full plate. I'm making no promises. My staff have their plate full at the present time.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
have enough, a lot, etc. on your ˈplate(informal) have enough, a lot of things, etc. to do or be responsible for: I can’t help you next week, I’ve got too much on my plate. ♢ She has a lot on her plate at the moment; that’s why she looks so worried all the time.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
plate, to have a lot/enough on one's
To have more than enough to worry about or cope with. This term originated in the 1920s and transferred the image of an overcrowded dinner plate to a very full agenda. R. Simons used it in Houseboat Killing (1959): “I’ll leave you at it. I’ve got plenty on my plate at the moment.” The synonymous my plate is full (or to have a full plate) date from the same period.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer