plate, to have a lot/enough on one's(redirected from to have a lot/enough on one's plate)
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have a lot on (one's) plate
To have a large or excessive amount of things to do or deal with. I just have a lot on my plate right now while I'm finishing up my degree and doing this huge project for work.
have enough on (one's) plate
To be sufficiently busy or preoccupied with work, problems, or difficulties as to be unable or unwilling to cope with anything more. I really wish I could help you move this weekend, but I have enough on my plate as it is!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have a lot on one's plate
Also, have too much on one's plate. Have a great deal (or too much) to cope with, as in What with the new baby and the new house, they have a lot on their plate, or I can't take that on now; I've got too much on my plate already. This expression transfers a loaded or overloaded dinner plate to other activities. [First half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
plate, to have a lot/enough on one's
To have more than enough to worry about or cope with. This term originated in the 1920s and transferred the image of an overcrowded dinner plate to a very full agenda. R. Simons used it in Houseboat Killing (1959): “I’ll leave you at it. I’ve got plenty on my plate at the moment.” The synonymous my plate is full (or to have a full plate) date from the same period.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer