on one's shoulders

on (one's) shoulders

One's own responsibility or obligation. My siblings' care has been on my shoulders ever since our parents died.
See also: on, shoulder

on one's shoulders

As one's responsibility, as in The king carries his entire country on his shoulders, or The success of the conference rests on Nancy's shoulders. This metaphoric use of shoulders as the burden-bearing part of the body dates from the late 1300s.
See also: on, shoulder
References in classic literature ?
Seeing that,' he continued, 'one may, in awkward circumstances, or in a troublesome position, have one's doublet on one's shoulder, and not desire to take one's doublet off - '"