in over one's head, to be(redirected from to be in over one's head)
be in over (one's) head
To be too deeply involved in or with a difficult situation, beyond the point of being able to control or cope with things any longer. I'm in way over my head with this money laundering scheme—now the mob is threatening my family if I try to back out! I think I'm in over my head with Amy. She wants marriage, kids, and a house, and I'm just not ready for any of that!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
in over one's head, to be
To be swamped (with debts, work, responsibilities, and so forth). The analogy in this expression is to being in water over one’s head when one presumably is not a good swimmer. In the early seventeenth century it was put simply as over one’s head, as in “That silly women shall be dipt over head in a Gumble-stool for scolding” (Richard Baxter describing a ducking-stool in 1653).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer