Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

up to my (eyes/neck)

up to my eyesup to my neck
Meaning(s)
1) extremely busy, deeply involved in something
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • I'm up to my eyes/neck in work/debt/problems
  • Analysis

    If you are ‘up to your eyes’ it means you are extremely busy and have a lot to do. This expression is also used to highlight the extremity of a situation or to exaggerate. Similarly when you are ‘up to your neck’ it means you are deeply involved in something, extremely busy, or immersed in something. You can use both of these expressions to talk about dealing with a big problem. These are casual idiomatic expression but you can hear them used in both social and professional contexts. Similar in meaning to ‘in over my head’ and ‘to be run off your feet’.

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. Things are tough at the moment. I'm up to my eyes in debt and I have just lost my job.
    2. Don't pretend that you had nothing to do with the robbery. The police think you are up to your neck in it
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Sarah calling in sick left us short-staffed so I've been up to my neck in work all day!
    2. Ever since our company won that new contract, we've been up to our eyes trying to process all the orders!
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