be up to (one's) eyes in (something)(redirected from they were up to their eyes in)
be up to (one's) eyes in (something)
To have too much of something; to be overwhelmed by something. I'm still unpacking, so I'm up to my eyes in boxes. If any of my guys get hurt at the construction site, I'll be up to my eyes in paperwork.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
be up to your ˈeyes/ˈeyeballs in somethinghave a lot of something to deal with: He was up to his eyes in debt.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
up to one's ears/eyes/eyebrows, to be
To be completely engrossed or overwhelmed. These phrases, likening physical immersion in something to figurative engrossment, have been around a long time. Richard Barnfield used “In love up to the eares” in The Affectionate Shepheard (1594). Anthony Trollope had “All the Burtons are full up to their eyes with good sense” in The Claverings (1866), about a century after the term came into use.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer