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Thread: up to your ears

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  1. #1
    Daruma is offline Senior Member
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    Default up to your ears

    Hello.

    up to your ears
    : deeply involved in something
    ▪ They are up to their ears in debt. [=they are deeply in debt]
    ▪ We're up to our ears in work. [=we are very busy]

    Can I use "with" instead of in and in?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: up to your ears

    No, because the idiom implies that you are in something: a hole, manure, debt, deep water.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: up to your ears

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    up to your ears
    : deeply involved in something
    ▪ They are up to their ears in debt. [=they are deeply in debt]
    ▪ We're up to our ears in work. [=we are very busy]

    Can I use "with" instead of in and in?

    Thank you.
    I agree with Anglika's assessment of this idiom based on the meaning of "in". However, I think saying "up to my ears with work" is possible and also makes sense. It could mean that one possesses or is accompanied by something such as debt, work, or problems etcetera. Apart from that, I'm certain people use this idiom with "in" as well as "with". It could be that "in" is more common and usual in this expression because it's easier to envision, or understand, in a concrete or physical way what the expression means using "in".

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