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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 ?
The athletes have always paid their own way," Swampy said.
Records further show that on 1 June 1884, Harry Plunkett, having just celebrated his 36th birthday, was appointed by the Ministry of Marine & Fisheries as "Keeper of light" at Swampy Island, with a salary of $350 per annum.
This year, the award was given for action taken July 14, when a Piper Cherokee single-engine airplane crashed into a swampy area between Snake Pond and the Gardner airport.
I am a long-time user of the Swampy products including the IM30 that you reviewed and the IM20 all-in-one unit that you did not.
Displaced New Orleans resident Capps has a true molasses drawl, is mighty comfortable with funk and swampy cajun rhythms and has written one of the best songs about post-Katrina hope and skepticism, ``New Orleans Waltz.
A sorceress in Nairobi warns them of danger ahead, and they encounter plenty of it when the safari ends and they head out to look for missing missionaries in a remote swampy jungle.
Washington Chief of Police Pelham Glassman, himself a World War I veteran, authorized a campsite for the veterans, along with 1,100 wives and children, in the swampy Anacosta Flats outside Washington.
THE general standard of play in the first round of the World Championship has been shocking, but Swampy can clean up when he takes on Mark Williams at the Crucible this afternoon.
The piece chronicles Houston's famed swampy weather, the space program, even the traffic patterns.
Best, however, are Eric Quincey Tate's swampy The Bream Are Still Biting In Fereday, backed by Tony Joe White, and Herbie Mann's terrific 10-minute cover of Beatles rocker Come Together.
Low down and swampy, staying true to his New Orleans roots (he's been in the Royal Pendletons, Bad Times, and a few others), this one is a toe-tapper with songs like "Beat Up By A Girl," "I'm So Sick of Your Headgear," and "I'm 13 and Too Ugly to Live.
In a swampy forest clearing, a female gorilla yanked a roughly 3-foot-long branch from a dead tree and waded into a deep pool of water.
Under agreement with federal wildlife regulators, it will buy 300 acres (121ha) of swampy land to ensure the breed's survival.
This summer's fifty-first installment, opening to the public June 12, follows a 2003 version perhaps better remembered for the heat (and humidity) produced by unusually swampy weather than for any light generated by director Francesco Bonami's curatorial strategy.
Known as the world's largest non-permafrost swamp, the lowlands are a heavily forested, virtually uninhabitable environment Hamilton calls "a swampy green fresh water ocean.