have many irons in the fire

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have many irons in the fire

To have several simultaneous activities or potential undertakings or opportunities. I have several irons in the fire at work right now and it's going to be tricky to balance all of them over the next few weeks. A: "How's the job search going?" B: "No interviews yet, but I have several irons in the fire."
See also: fire, have, iron, many

have many (or other) irons in the fire

have many (or a range of) options or courses of action available or be involved in many activities or commitments at the same time.
Various tools and implements made (or formerly made) of iron are called irons , for example grappling irons or branding irons. The metaphor is of a blacksmith or other worker who heats iron objects in a fire until they reach the critical temperature at which they can be shaped or used.
See also: fire, have, iron, many

have many, etc. irons in the ˈfire

have many, etc. different plans, projects, etc. at the same time, often with the hope that at least one will be successful: She’s still got several irons in the fire: her television work, her film work and her writing.This idiom refers to blacksmiths (= people whose job it is to make and repair things made of iron), who have several pieces of iron in the fire at a time, so that there is always one piece that is hot enough to work with.
See also: fire, have, iron
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