keep your head above water

keep (one's) head above water

1. Literally, to hold one's head out of the water as to avoid drowning. This lifejacket will help Sally to keep her head above water in the pool.
2. To (barely) avoid being consumed by a stressful or unpleasant situation (often related to work or finance). If credit cards are the only thing keeping your head above water, then your situation is more dire than I thought.
See also: above, head, keep, water

keep your head above water

COMMON If you keep your head above water, you have just enough money to live on or to continue with a business. Thousands of small businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water. I need two jobs just to keep my head above water.
See also: above, head, keep, water

keep your head above water

avoid succumbing to difficulties, especially falling into debt.
See also: above, head, keep, water

keep your ˈhead above water

succeed in staying out of debt; manage to deal with tasks, responsibilities, etc: The company had great difficulty keeping its head above water during the economic crisis.I don’t know how she manages to keep her head above water. She has so much to do.
See also: above, head, keep, water
References in periodicals archive ?
Miss Stewart's father, Robert Stewart, said: "When you experience your own personal tsunami you look for rocks to cling to to help you keep your head above water.
The way things are with foundries and manufacturing industry in general these days, it is a lottery as to whether you can keep your head above water.
Keep your head above water, and you'll know the right guy when he surfaces.
Answered Al: "In the fly-fishing business, you have to do a lot of things to keep your head above water.
Are you doing more, being more selective about what you do, just struggling to keep your head above water, or some combination of these?
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