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on one's shoulders

As one's responsibility, as in The king carries his entire country on his shoulders, or The success of the conference rests on Nancy's shoulders. This metaphoric use of shoulders as the burden-bearing part of the body dates from the late 1300s.
The American HeritageĀ® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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