Getting into the Weeds

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8 comments on this post.
  1. Elizabeth Lightwood:

    “Into the weeds” is an unfortunate phrase to use in the context of medical marijuana.

  2. Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness « PNC-Minnesota Bureau:

    [...] weeds’ come from and does it mean what I think it means?” A short search found this site, The Word Detective, and an illuminating description of the phrase. It’s interesting that this metaphor came up for [...]

  3. Mark:

    As a career fine-dining server, I always assumed the phrase suggested the idea that the person in question was so overwhelmed that the metaphorical “weeds” had sprung up around them, diminishing their ability to accomplish tasks quickly. I have also heard it described as a state of affairs in which one has several tasks that need to be completed simultaneously, but with little or no time to do so (often because of short-sightedness or carelessness).

  4. Stan:

    After I referenced your post in a discussion of “getting into the weeds” today, one of my readers offered this comment:

    “Acadian French uses a (so far as I know) unique expression: Dans la rhubarbe. (Literal translation: In the rhubarb) It means someone who has “gone off the deep end”, to use an English equivalent. Also sometimes used to describe someone who has lost sight of their goal due to getting sidetracked by minutiae.”

    I don’t know if it predates or postdates the English use of the term.

  5. To make it happen, I write it down:

    [...] does “in the weeds” mean?   I mean off track and overwhelmed in this [...]

  6. Best Boss You Ever Had | Karl Koelle:

    [...] a long way – but it still ended badly.  From my side, pick your catch phrase.  I was down in the weeds too far.  I had my head in the sand and didn’t do everything I could to expand myself and [...]

  7. How to Save Your Meeting | Stories Without Borders:

    [...] could be that you’re gotten down in the weeds too quickly and stayed there too long. Details are not particularly interesting to listen to anyway, [...]

  8. Darel:

    As a real farmer that grows actual food, I have no experience with the aforementioned row crops. That just doesn’t seem like farming to me. Out here we do have weeds. Lots of weeds. When we say we’re in the weeds, we mean that they have gotten away from us, that we didn’t hoe or otherwise cultivate enough when the weeds were just germinating and we may not be able to catch up. We’re so far behind that the weeds may overtake us and we may even lose a crop. In the weeds. Makes me shudder.

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