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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.
See also: alligator, neck, up

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.
See also: swamp


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.
See also: swamp
References in periodicals archive ?
Cypress swamps with their ancient trees were once a common feature of Mississippi wetlands, but today only remnants of that natural habitat remain.
A helicopter search located the Boeing 727 in a swamp at the village of Imota, about 40 miles southeast of Lagos - the intended destination of its flight Thursday.
The wetlands impacted by the violation are adjacent to a part of the "Forrest Crim Swamp," a well-known, unique tupelo gum swamp in Shelby County.
From the blue waters surrounding Lake Erie's South Bass Island to the hot, sultry heat of New Orleans' French Quarter and Louisiana's dangerous bayous and swamps, "Promised Land" delivers murder, gang fights, and dangerous boating incidents.
Eastern Arkansas also boasts remote swamps containing old trees.
We don't want it here," says Cindy Lane, deputy manager of the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to the national champion swamp tupelo.
Tomorrow we'll be back in de swamp 'mong de cypress knees, de 'gators, and de moccasins, and strainin' wid de swamp boss' "(114-15), and when another of the gang wonders what the swamp-boss is doing while the men are fishing, Cliff professes not to care.
So many alligators once swam in the Okefenokee that you could walk clear across that 641-square-mile swamp just by stepping on their backs.
Twelve teams started the race Monday at Indian Lake in upstate New York's Adirondacks, but only four were still in the running Friday afternoon as the teams sloshed through the Great Swamp in South Kingstown.
for violating the Clean Water Act, rejecting his public claim that he didn't know he was violating federal wetlands law when he built houses in a cypress swamp.
Less than two weeks after this sighting, Gallagher and his buddy Bobby Ray Harrison--art history professor, photographer, southerner, and dyed-in-the-wool ivory-bill chaser--hit the swamp with Sparling, canoeing through the bayou in search of the mystery bird.
Fitzpatrick guesses there's more than one ivory-billed woodpecker in the Arkansas swamp.
We've divided up the wilderness area into five burning blocks based on the hardwood swamps as natural fire breaks," says Gary Hegg, sivilculturist with the U.
The south vein was discovered on the edge of a swamp, a grab sample carried 3.
The most tolerant of swamp fish require only a little less oxygen than the most tolerant of the reef fish do.