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Up to (one's) neck in alligators
business adage The full expression is some variation of: "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp." It is easy to be so overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly. I guess it's easy to forget, when up to your neck in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swamp.
swamp (someone or something) with (something)
1. To cover someone or something with a large amount of something, especially water. Often used in passive constructions. Heavy rainfall swamped the paths with water, making the mountain totally inaccessible. The tiny village was swamped with mud as a result of the landslide.
2. To fill a boat or ship with water, especially to the point of sinking. Often used in passive constructions. A huge wave swelled up and swamped the boat with ice-cold water. Our ship was being swamped with water, so we had to swim for shore if we wanted to survive.
3. To surround someone or something with something overpowering or pervasive, especially an odor. Often used in passive constructions. His cooking swamped the house with the smell of onions and garlic. I walked in the door and was instantly swamped with the stale stench of cigarettes, booze, and unwashed men.
4. To burden or overwhelm someone or something with a large amount of something. Often used in passive constructions. Angry customers began swamping the customer service department with complaints and threats. After the famous actor mentioned our company in one of his social media posts, we became swamped with orders from all over the country. I'd love to come see your game tomorrow, son, but I'm totally swamped with work right now.
Extremely busy, to the point of being overwhelmed, overburdened, or overworked. We've been absolutely swamped ever since the famous actor mentioned our company in one of his social media posts. I'd love to come see your game tomorrow, son, but I'm totally swamped with work right now.
swamp someone or something with something
to cover or deluge someone or something with something. The flood swamped our property with river water. The many orders for their product swamped the small business with too much to do.
1. mod. very, very busy. I can’t handle it now. I’m swamped.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. Look at him! He’s swamped—stoned out of his mind.