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up to one's ears

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Also, in up to one's eyes or eyeballs or neck. Deeply involved; also, oversupplied, surfeited. For example, I'm up to my ears in work, or He's in up to his eyes with the in-laws. This hyperbolic and slangy idiom implies one is flooded with something up to those organs. The first was first recorded in 1839; up to the eyes in 1778; to the eyeballs in 1911; to the neck in 1856.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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